Steve Thompson, facilities manager at Bloomberg investment bank, has just won a Lord Mayor's Dragon Award for his volunteering work at Crisis's shelter during Christmas week. He has volunteered for seven years.
Why did you choose Crisis? Because I enjoy it the most. I've worked for lots of charities and have volunteered in hospitals and on befriending projects, but Crisis best fits the skills that I have. My role as a facilities manager involves making sure everything runs smoothly.
I organise contractors here at Bloomberg, while at the Crisis Open Christmas project I organise volunteers to do work on the shelters, such as plumbing-in shower blocks. I also like acting as a midway person or a catalyst - if Crisis has a problem I usually know who to approach. The staff and volunteers at Crisis are amazing - they're a really good bunch to work with.
How else does the partnership benefit? I don't fundraise as such - I don't go out and shake tins, but I do encourage other people to help.
Bloomberg has been very supportive over the years. It provides gifts in kind, ranging from technical support such as electricians and plumbers to products including cups, plates and furniture.
Bloomberg also supports the charity through providing a team of up to 50 volunteers to help with the set-up and closedown of the Crisis Open Christmas centres.
How much time do you put in? I normally volunteer at least seven days from my annual leave. Last year, when we were setting up a shelter in the Millennium Dome, I was working from 6.30 in the morning until midnight as well as lots of weekends - I spent about a fortnight volunteering last year. How much time I put in depends on how much holiday I have left at the end of the year.
What do you get out of the relationship? You get to see a lot of the regulars come back year after year. Many people who have been found new homes come back as volunteers or maybe just to come and see their friends.
It's quite nice to see the progression going on over the years. If you ever get bored at Christmas and you want to meet some nice people, you know where to come.