Volunteering Matters and Vodafone worked with Karen Williams to organise the first in house corporate event of its kind for Vodafone. Andrea Evans at Vodafone was keen to engage her staff in an in house/ micro volunteering event and a Buddy Bags Brigade event seemed like a perfect opportunity. 180 Buddy Bags were to be packed by 18 volunteers during 90 minutes of volunteering.
We met with Karen 3 weeks in advance of the event date to discuss logistics for the day, recruitment of volunteers and all the Health and Safety aspects of the event. It was crucial that we met in the venue where the event was to be held so that Karen could properly assess the space available, accessibility, storage etc. Karen also used her visit to the office to do some promotional work to raise awareness of the charity among the Vodafone staff. This served to create a buzz about the forthcoming event and I am sure helped with the recruitment of volunteers for the event. 18 volunteers were required and were easily recruited.
Karen had a clear vision of how the event would run and having run a number of these Buddy Bag Brigades before was able to ensure that the morning ran like clockwork. Karen gave a clear and thought provoking team brief to all volunteers at the start of the day and left the volunteers clear about why they were volunteering and what the task was. 6 team leaders were appointed on Karen’s instruction and the team leaders took charge of arranging the room and unpacking and laying out the items to be packed. They also provided a point of contact for Karen ensuring she was not overwhelmed by questions.
The packing process ran like clockwork due the preparation that had taken place. All volunteers were able to participate, spirits were high and the event was clearly one that both moved and engaged the volunteers.
Feedback from the volunteers was fantastic. One thing was highlighted was the connection the volunteers felt between the practical task they were engaged in and each child they were packing a bag for. It seemed very personal. The feel good factor and the feeling you were doing some thing for some one else shone through.
“The event was very well organised everyone knew the who, what, where, when and why”
“Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and connect better with your own working community and can help strengthen those relationships. Being seen doing something like this especially as we did it In the canteen, I hope made onlookers think that they’d like to do something similar, so not always off site events like painting fences etc…or shaking a collection tin. It was great to help a smaller lesser known charity as well”
“From my role within forecasting and planning and feedback from the guys I worked with that day – it can be a challenge within the call centre to get front line volunteers as we can’t always afford the resource off the phones (TSAR), so where ever possible this needs to be planned between 4-6 weeks in advance and if the scheduling teams are included they can try and advise of the best dates and times or at-least what dates to avoid by channel. In an ideal world people would be giving up their free time as well but as we know this isn’t always that easy it’s great Vodafone allows us with that time”
“I was happy to assist with the Buddy bags, it was a small part that I played but it also helped to raise awareness considering that I didn’t know it existed before that day. It was nice that Vodafone could be part of it and hearing the stories was so sad as well. But I would do it again as it is a very worthy cause. Thank you”
“I loved volunteering for the Buddy bag charity day and it was really insightful to learn about the charity. It’s nice to know that we are able to help charities out by not just donating money, but physically being involved”
“I really enjoyed the day. I volunteered as read it sounded like a great cause and I wanted to do get more involved in charity events this year”
“I think the Buddy Bag charity day went really well, I thoroughly enjoyed it”
“Everyone was organised and it was very well thought out, everyone knew where to go and we were kept up to date with any changes and steps of the packing. You also kept us up to date with where this will be and what it will entail and even included pictures which is a nice touch”
“It’s a charity that has really touched my heart and I’ll continue to support it in the future. I’ll also be mentioning the charity to friends and family as I think the word needs to be spread about just what the charity does. The feedback alone what I saw from the children on the postcards is so touching and makes me feel better knowing they’ve had comfort from the things in the bag”
The volunteering event was the first of it’s kind that Vodafone had engaged in. It brought volunteering in to the work place and engaged employees that had never volunteered before in an accessible event for a great cause.