Midweek Musings – A Warm Embrace for Corporate Volunteering

If you have been following the recent JVN blogs, Facebook posts and tweets or if you have read the latest JVN newsletter, you will have noticed that we have launched a new employee volunteering project called Embrace. The aim of embrace is to strategically match businesses with community partners to maximise the benefits of employee volunteering for business, their employees and the community. The idea is that business employees use the skills they incorporate in their everyday jobs to make a big difference to their local community. The Jewish News recognised the benefits Embrace can bring – a greater reputation of a responsible business, a more motivated workforce and an improved community, to name but a few – and on 18th October they decided to send nine of their staff along to volunteer at Kisharon.

The Jewish News team at the start of a very busy day’s gardening.

The garden at Kisharon’s Adult Services Centre was in desperate need of a makeover. It was the Jewish News team’s job to transform this sadly neglected space into a recognisable garden alongside the adults supported by Kisharon. All the volunteers thoroughly enjoyed their experience and found it extremely fulfilling. The Jewish News’ Head of Sales Russell Bahar said that they particularly enjoyed seeing the impact they had on the garden at the end of the day. He recalled the next day, ” It was a great day, hard work, but I think we all did very well. We are all aching this morning but it was worth it.  We had a great time.” He also noted that the service users from Kisharon also had great fun helping them.

Volunteering can be fun – and the sunshine always helps!

Chavi Sufrin, Kisharon’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, oversaw the project. She said, “I thought it went really well. The Jewish News staff worked really hard and seemed to have a good time. I really think it paid off. The garden is now in a better state so that we can begin gardening!” Russell also said that the team would definitely do it again. Jewish News Director Mark Hilton, who was unfortunately unable to make the session on the day, said he received such good feedback that he has e-mailed to see if he could do any individual volunteering!

Head of Sales Russell Bahar with an adult to whom Kisharon provides valuable support.

The Jewish News team have recorded 36 hours of volunteering on the JVN Jubilee Hour page – why not join them and register your volunteering hours this year by filling in the form on the right hand side of the page? Keep your eye on the JVN blog for more stories of how Embrace continues to inspire companies to give their employees’ time to help the community. And also watch this space for the Embrace page on the JVN website.

Another firm recently to undertake the Embrace programme is Squires Estates, who are having a fantastic time volunteering regularly for Belmont Children’s farm, as shown by the pictures below…


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Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.


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