In late March and early April, sixty employees from Lenovo's Glasgow and Basingstoke offices volunteered through United Way UK to refurbish the outdoor play areas and gardens of two local schools for children with additional learning and medical needs. Both schools lacked resources to complete these repairs and refreshments themselves––in particular, Kirkriggs School in Glasgow had been neglected for years and had even been threatened with closure in 2016 (but was saved after a campaign by parents of students). A single day of volunteering was therefore able to make a huge and noticeable difference to the quality of the outdoor play area in both schools, and these changes and additions are sure to massively improve the quality of play and interaction with the outdoor space that the students and their families will have.
This volunteering project provides a good example concerning volunteering for other UK businesses because even though it is a "traditional" corporate volunteering activity, volunteers responded to a real need in their local community and were not just doing something for the sake of it. The participating Lenovo employees reported that they found the day spent out of the office volunteering both positive in terms of contributing to a good cause and valuable in getting to know their colleagues outside of an office environment. All respondents surveyed said that this experience has inspired them to do more volunteering!
Children at Saxon Wood School working alongside Lenovo volunteers to plant a new garden (left), and hard at work at Kirkriggs School (right)!