Commercial has extended its volunteering scheme ten-fold in a move that will release 300 work-days per year for charities, organisations and causes that its employees care about.

Previously, the company set aside 30 days per year for volunteering, with time allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. This new development stems from an employee-driven initiative to ‘spread positive change’. It enables each of the firm’s 300 staff to use one work day per year for a volunteer activity of their choice.

Recently, a team of nine employees from the Cheltenham head office spent a day at the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Evesham. They helped with various tasks including cleaning, making toys for the dogs and playing with puppies.

Head of HR at Commercial, Jenny Hodgson, joined them and enjoyed seeing the initiative coming to life.

“We’re very excited about our new and improved employer-supported volunteer programme, and Dogs Trust were so welcoming,” she explains. “The beauty of volunteering is that it benefits everyone involved. We all felt uplifted and energised by the experience.”

To help measure and visualise the success of the programme, a tree image has been mounted outside one of Commercial’s meeting rooms. Every time someone completes a day of volunteering, they’re given a leaf to annotate with their name and stick on the tree.

“I’m sure it won’t be long until our volunteering tree is full of leaves,” Hodgson continues. “We’ve been reaching out to local charities and community projects to find out where they need support. Our staff are really keen to get involved in charity work and play their own part in spreading positive change.”

Commercial’s longstanding employee engagement programme drove the expansion of the volunteer scheme. Change Champions (formerly known as Green Angels) involves cross-departmental teams working together to devise new initiatives in line with the company’s social and environmental sustainability ethos.