Like any responsible business, we want to make a positive impact in the communities where we live and work. To support this, we offer a Donate A Day scheme which allows all salaried employees to take a full day’s paid leave which they can donate to a charitable or community activity of their choice.
We have offered this for some time but as part of our commitment to achieving targets in line with a new sustainable Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework, we have been promoting the campaign to encourage as much uptake as possible.
In January we highlighted the initiative to our nationwide workforce at Safety Stand Down, and as part of our Wellbeing Campaign we regularly talk about the positive effects of helping others. Mind charity and the NHS say the act of ‘giving’ can be linked to an improved sense of wellbeing and mental health, which if connected to a physical activity can lead to even more health benefits.
Natasha Clarke, People Director, said: “We are pleased our recent push on the Donate A Day scheme has resulted in an increase in uptake with a number of colleagues booking their day to undertake activities ranging from using the day to recover from weekend charity runs, to planting trees in the community, a night time hike up Snowdon and a 24-hour walk.”
In March, North East based multi utility operative Stephen Terry used his day to plant trees with his son Noah and daughter Nancy at Noah’s school Prior’s Mill Primary School in Billingham.
Noah raised funds for the Woodland Trust through a 100-mile sponsored walking challenge. On his JustGiving page 9-year-old Noah said: “I want to raise loads of money to help woodlands trust because I love nature and because climate change is destroying our world. I think that if we all work together we can stop climate change and all the trees getting chopped down.”
Stephen joined his son in his January walking challenge, helping him to raise £400. Aptus matched this, taking the total to £800. The tree planting took place on Wednesday 23rd March and Noah, who was allowed to pick the trees, chose some rose bushes and animal friendly trees to make an area near thorny bushes nicer for the animals and everyone.
Natasha, who spoke to Noah, commented: “His long-term goal is to save the planet which means Stephen is probably going to be very busy!”
She added: “In the past we have regularly taken part in charity fundraisers and supported clients with quiz nights, sporting challenges, and other activities. The pandemic and changes in how we work have made it a little more problematic at this stage to team up or train together, which is why the Donate A Day scheme is an ideal solution and can be flexibly designed to fit around people’s lives whilst still allowing us to have a positive impact.
“We hope this provides some inspiration on how people can use their day to get involved in their communities, either through individual challenges, supporting family members or helping with local fundraisers.”