It’s something we’re incredibly proud of.
Here are five of our fabulous volunteers who’ve been kind enough to share their stories.
‘Working Together for Young People’
Debbie Mahon, Danbro’s Head of Quality & Service, is a volunteer at ‘Inspiring the Future’. They’re a unique organisation who educate and prepare young people for the wonderful world of work. The objective is to break stereotypes and broaden horizons, and Debbie’s role involves conducting interviews with the students. She then provides verbal and written feedback to help them understand and recognise their strengths, as well as identifying areas in which they can improve.
Debbie initially became involved with the charity following a ‘Primary Futures’ event she attended with some of her Danbro colleagues. She has three children – two sons and a daughter – all of whom attended school on the Fylde Coast before going on to university. So, it’s a cause that’s particularly close to her heart.
“I passionately believe that all children should be given the support and opportunity to do what they love,” she said. “This starts at primary school. I’ve been privileged to listen to the stories of all the young people I’ve met, to see their work and to share their hopes and dreams.”
‘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.
‘Helping the elderly, the terminally ill… and their pets’
Nick, who joined the Danbro Family earlier this summer, 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.”
‘Transforming lives for vulnerable children’
In her spare time, CIA Chief (that’s Danbro’s ‘Head of Compliance, Information and Auditing’ – not Gina Haspel – though she can be just as formidable), Katie Gamble, helps run the Child Sponsorship Programme at New Hope For Africa (NHFA). Based in the UK, NHFA supports 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”.
The Danbro FoundationThree 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 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.