It’s something we’re incredibly proud of, particularly in light of the recent pandemic.
Here are four of our fabulous volunteers – hailing from across the Danbro Family – who’ve been kind enough to share their stories.
‘Transforming Lives for Vulnerable Children’
In her spare time, Head of Group Compliance and Information, Katie Gamble, helps run the Child Sponsorship Programme at New Hope For Africa (NHFA). Based in the UK, NHFA support a school in Kampala, Uganda, using education to provide a brighter future for local children and young people.
Katie’s role involves liaising with the school and she’s also been on two trips to Uganda to visit the students and teachers. This gave her the opportunity to deliver donations, spend time with the children, and assist them in writing letters to their sponsors. So, why did she get involved?
“Equality means a lot to me,” Katie said. “Making sure people have the opportunity to get an education regardless of their background, gender or family income is so important to me”.
‘Making sure fewer people die by suicide’
Our Compliance Officer, Emma Cornah, has ‘volunteered in varying capacities for all of her adult life’. Last year, she became a Samaritan. While Emma’s role tends to be on the phones, she also puts herself forward for email and text shifts too. “My motivation is to give something back to the community and to try to help those who are in need,” she said.
The Samaritans are dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. It’s one of the most celebrated charities in the country, though Emma confesses that she did have some misconceptions before applying for the position. “I’ve always thought the Samaritans offer a worthwhile service although, at the time, I assumed all the callers would be suicidal. I quickly learned that that’s definitely not the case. The calls are very varied.”
“If you’re thinking of volunteering, the Samaritans has an excellent training plan that will provide you with a lot of transferable skills. It is quite a commitment but you can choose your shifts anytime – day or night – and it’s very flexible.”
Not to be outdone, our accounting department also has a breadth of volunteers in their ranks. After a week of number crunching, Personal Accountants Leanne Edwards and Nick Valentine also give up their time to different charitable causes. Here are their stories…
‘Helping the elderly, the terminally ill… and their pets’
Nick, who joined the Danbro Family last year, regularly volunteers at The Cinnamon Trust. They’re a national charity who provide support to elderly people who are unable to look after their pets. This could be down to illness, old age, or a change in circumstances.
In his role, Nick is assigned local cases, where he makes house visits to take the dogs for a walk. Volunteers can also put themselves forward for the short or long term fostering of pets too. For Nick, it’s a ‘stress release’ away from the pressures of work and exams.
“I’ve seen the impact that ill health can have on people who are unable to walk their pets. It’s devastating,” he said. “I like to help with this so nobody feels bad”.
‘Life-changing services for ‘hard to reach’ young people’
Aspired Futures, meanwhile, are a Blackpool based charity who provide ‘life-changing therapeutic services’ for vulnerable children and young people. Many of the youngsters they help are from troubled backgrounds. This often includes those with experiences of addiction, domestic violence, learning difficulties, and issues surrounding mental health. Support for each young person is tailored and they’re encouraged to develop the skills they need to improve their own life-chances. For a number of years Danbro have worked closely with Aspired Futures. And, after hearing about ‘the great things they do’, Leanne felt compelled to get involved.
“I’d wanted to volunteer for a while,” she said, “and they seemed like a brilliant organisation to get involved with. I volunteer on Saturday mornings when we run a sports session, then all sit down to eat breakfast together. The sessions encourage teamwork, build confidence, and also help to show how exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle.”
“[Preparing breakfast] gives the children a chance to learn how to prepare food,” Leanne continued. “We focus on how important it is to sit and eat together, building a culture of good manners at the dinner table.”
‘The Danbro Foundation’Two of our volunteers also serve on the Executive Committee for The Danbro Foundation. The team give up their personal time to make key decisions regarding funding, marketing and charitable efforts. Working alongside local groups, such as Street Angels and Aspired Futures, as well as international charities like Operation Orphan, The Danbro Foundation formalises the way in which our company gives back. It enables the people who help generate our profits to have a bigger say in how the money is being spent.
The Foundation is not-for-profit and is run exclusively by Danbro Group employees. The organisation’s ultimate aim is to improve the lives and prospects of those who need it most. The Foundation’s devoted to providing optimism, opportunities and hope for the future.
Sam Wright is Danbro’s Marketing Manager. He produces regular content and feature articles on our digital and non-digital channels – and social platforms – for the Danbro Group and its subsidiaries, as well as having responsibility for the Company’s internal and external communications.
His background is in Journalism and Creative Writing, having previously contributed to publications such as The Daily Post, The Lancashire Evening Post, and The Blackpool Gazette.
He is a keen swimmer and avid Manchester United fan (but don’t hold that against him), and he lives in Lancashire with his wife, Sarah.