Staff at Wales’s fastest growing broadband company – Ogi – are rolling up their sleeves and pitching in across the country, with more than 2,000 hours spent volunteering in the last year.
Encouraging getting involved from day one, the business’s volunteer programme allows staff to take up to two paid days each year for community and charitable work. This provides the potential for thousands of hours of support each year – including volunteering, fundraising activities, and strategic support. To date, more than 70 projects across south Wales have benefitted from the programme.
Aligning to the company’s mission to promote digital inclusion, wellbeing and environmental sustainability, staff nominated Age Cymru, Blood Bikes Wales and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, as the company’s core charities – with smaller, local charities supported by local crews.
Partnerships with the charity secotr varies, but all are offered support from across the business including strategic input, workshops and press and marketing support, in addition to Ogi staff taking part in volunteering, more traditional fundraising events and challenges.
Away from work with charities and Ogi’s Community Liaison Officers – rooted in the company’s broadband rollout areas – spend time in the local area supporting everything from the Samaritans to the set-up of community gardens and events.
“Volunteering is a fantastic way to get to know your community and meet new people.” Said Community Liaison Officer, Louise Clement. “It can offer you a break from your day-to-day job and you often get to do things you wouldn’t normally do – you might say it’s therapeutic.” She added.
Louise recently helped transform a patch of wasteland in Llantwit Major into a community garden – providing a space for residence, community groups and schools to socialise and learn about nature. The garden, started by PC Mike Neate, is a haven for nature in the village, with bug houses, a veg plot and interactive play area.
And in west Wales, community champion Martin Jones, based in Milford Haven, offers up his free time to help three charities, including for The Samaritans and volunteers as a youth football coach for local side Hakin United.
“I’d definitely recommend volunteering. It’s great to know the little things you can do can help others, and it can be a lot of fun too.” Said Martin Jones, Community Liaison Officer, adding: “It’s great to know that even the small bit of time I’m able to give can have a huge impact. Just make sure you have the time to commit as these groups often need some form of commitment. If you’re like me, you’ll also get attached and want to do more!”
Research from the University of East Anglia suggests volunteering can enhance an individual’s wellbeing, increasing the opportunities to socialise, connect with others and bring better balance to people’s lives. The volunteering scheme forms part of Ogi’s commitment to staff health and wellbeing.