What is Employer Supported Volunteering?

Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) gives employees the opportunity to take part in volunteering activities during their working hours. Organisations often have an ESV policy that will support employees to volunteer for a particular cause that is important to the individual themselves, that can be completed as a team-building activity or that particularly aligns with the values of the business. Organisations have an impact on the communities within which they operate and ESV often fits in with an organisation’s corporate responsibility (CR) or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. ESV programmes can help to form a connection between companies, their employees and the wider community.

What are the benefits of ESV?

To the employer:

  • ESV helps to build positive relationships with other voluntary, public or private sector organisations and the local community
  • An opportunity for the organisation to demonstrate that they recognise their corporate social responsibility
  • Employees learn new skills that they bring back to the workplace
  • Staff attraction and retention – employers that offer ESV are attractive to potential employees
  • Increased staff satisfaction, wellbeing and reduced sickness leave
  • Professional development opportunities for staff
  • Team building and stronger workplace relationships
  • Supports to produce employee pride in where they work and increased employer brand awareness

To the employee:

  • For many employees, an ESV programme enables them to get involved in volunteering activities when they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to
  • The opportunity to learn and share new skills
  • Enjoyment and increased wellbeing in the workplace
  • The feeling that they are making a difference to their local community
  • The opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds
  • A chance to Increase their confidence and skills outside of the workplace
  • An increased sense of pride and satisfaction within their role

To the communities that are being supported:

  • Increased community cohesion and promotion of charitable activities
  • Employees and businesses share their skills and time with the community
  • Access to skilled workforce
  • Helps to reduce costs of required activities

Examples of ESV Activities

Some ESV activities that you could get involved in could include:

  • Litter picking at Boultham Park, Lincoln
  • Events support and fundraising for Jerry Green Dog Rescue
  • Whisby Nature Reserve – Numerous specific projects or more general help needed e.g. pathway weeding; tidy outdoor sink area; clear the compass and build a pizza oven; bench repairs; relocate sticks for den building
  • Gardening projects e.g. Hykeham in Bloom, Old Wood Organic CIC

How can my organisation get involved with Employer Supported Volunteering?

For Employers

If you are an employer and would like support in setting up a volunteering team challenge for your employees, simply fill out this Employer Supported Volunteering Enquiry Form.

For local community groups, charities or CICs

If you are a local VCSE organisation interested in hosting Employer Supported Volunteering activities, please get in touch with a member of the Volunteering and Communities Team to discuss this further. E-mail volunteering@voluntarycentreservices.org.uk or call your local area office. Details can be found on our Contact Us page.

Serco – team day at Whisby Nature Reserve

I would like to say a huge thank you to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, in particular Sam, who kindly hosted Serco Citizen Services UK&E volunteering on multiple occasions this summer. Whisby Nature Park is a nature reserve in the heart of Lincolnshire, it provides a biodiverse green space that is accessible to all, including those with significant mobility issues. As you may be aware this year has (once again) been the hottest on record, and this has had a significant impact on wildlife. These spaces are going to be ever more critical to the preservation of British wildlife and ensuring the biodiversity of our native species. Our Staff helped create spaces and structures to help our local biodiversity thrive and supported clearing work to enable the facility with its ongoing purpose to teach the next generation about the importance of the Environment and Sustainability.

Serco’s staff thoroughly enjoyed the days:

“It was a great day, that was fun and rewarding, it’s great to visualise the amount of work that you have done, and the impact it has. I would really recommend anyone to get involved, the weather was also perfect.”

I didn’t realise how much I needed that day, it really has been a privilege to spend the day in this beautiful place, supporting a great organisation, I can’t wait for next year.