Employee volunteering campaign targets small companies

Volunteering England is launching a campaign urging small companies to offer time off to staff to carry out voluntary work with charities.

The organisation is showcasing a number of case studies aimed at demonstrating the benefits to small and medium-sized companies of enabling staff to take part in volunteering schemes.

Although many large companies have started programmes, Volunteering England is keen to boost the numbers of smaller companies that offer similar schemes to staff.

Programmes help improve staff morale and help drive up employee retention, it claims.

Christopher Spence, chief executive of Volunteering England said: "Small companies are an essential part of a thriving local community which is why we are so keen to spread the word about the good work they are doing with local charities, and to encourage other companies to follow suit."

Michael Hutchings, managing director of vehicle delivery company United Fleet Distribution, which has 51 staff and runs a scheme where staff get two days paid leave for volunteering work, said the company had seen real benefits.

"The reason I'm so keen on volunteering is that my employees get a great deal out of it," he said. "The staff who take part in the schemes are absolutely buzzing when they come back. And it creates a very positive atmosphere in the business - so the more people that take part the more that ask to be involved."

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