Today marks the end of the 38th annual Volunteers’ Week! Taking place on the 1st – 7th June every year, Volunteers' Week is a chance to recognise and appreciate the amazing contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. This year, it also happens to fall during the #MonthOfCommunity – which aims to bring together people and organisations through a range of events to encourage them to engage more with activities within their local communities.
This week, we’ve decided to spotlight our incredible clients at The Aster Foundation, who are bringing together their employees, customers, suppliers, donors, and community partners to collaborate and progress their social impact goals through volunteering.
Their annual 1,000 hours campaign, launched today encourages colleagues, beneficiaries and partners to invest in causes which matter to them and align to their strategy of investing skills and time to strengthen their community’s infrastructure.
Volunteering is a key part of the Aster Foundation strategy as they work towards investing 3,000 volunteering days by 2030.
Who are the Aster Foundation?
The Aster Foundation was founded in 2016 to enact the social purpose of the Aster Group – a housing association committed to supporting their local communities and the people living in them. Their approach is to offer impact programmes designed to not only help people when things go wrong, but also to tackle the root cause of key social challenges through innovation.
How are they encouraging volunteering among their employees?
The Aster Foundation mission is to enable the better lives of at least 40,000 people by 2030 through our impact programmes and proactive approach to tackling social challenges.
In line with this, they offer their employees the opportunity to volunteer in their communities and for causes close to their heart. They are asked to commit at least 1 day each year to volunteering but have an unlimited number of volunteering days they can use. Whether they want to offer their time for a beach clean or share their skills and expertise to support a social entrepreneur, they are free to use this time to support any cause they wish.
The Aster Foundation have historically used volunteering as a way to connect their employees to their communities and social purpose, but have recently taken this one step further by teaming up with Goodsted: a digital platform that aims to connect individuals and organisations with social change makers in order to share skills and resources. The platform, Aster VIP suggests volunteering opportunities within organisations that fit their colleagues’ skills and interests, allowing them to offer their support to a cause close to their heart. They can connect with the community partner through the platform, and once they complete their support, they can exchange feedback. By coming together to support a community partner and progress a common goal, Aster Foundation employees have built more connected teams and developed new skills.
They now plan to scale their volunteering programme to include their 90,000+ customers; building an increased sense of community, helping them to develop new skills, and supporting their partners to realise their social value objectives.
Gill Roberts, Sustainability and Foundation Partner at The Aster Foundation, commented:
“Through our Aster Foundation, colleagues are encouraged to support the causes that are important to them and to our customers. We’ve been amazed by the response to our 1,000 Hours campaign. We’ve already reached over 800 of pledged volunteering hours.”.
To find out more about the Aster Foundation and their commitment to tackling social challenges through volunteering, visit their website here.
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