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Conference to highlight ‘amazing’ opportunities in Suffolk through employer supported volunteering

PUBLISHED: 10:14 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 14 May 2018

The Suffolk Volunteering Conference is being held at BT's Adastral Park. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Suffolk Volunteering Conference is being held at BT's Adastral Park. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Leading figures from Suffolk’s business and voluntary sectors are meeting at a conference highlighting the benefits of giving employees time to help charities.

Peter Richardson, CAS chief executive, is one of the key speakers at the Suffolk Volunteering Conference. Picture: CASPeter Richardson, CAS chief executive, is one of the key speakers at the Suffolk Volunteering Conference. Picture: CAS

The Suffolk Volunteering Conference aims to demonstrate the “amazing” opportunities available to businesses demonstrating “corporate responsibility”.

Organised by Community Action Suffolk (CAS), the conference will offer advice and support on employer supported volunteering (ESV), in which businesses help employees volunteer and develop partnerships with charities or community groups.

Examples of volunteering work range from mentoring young people, going fishing with a person with Alzheimer’s or helping at a music festival

Andrew Simpson of CAS said: “Offering volunteering opportunities to your employees is an amazing way to address the organisations commitment to social responsibility.

Paul White, volunteer manager, Community Action Suffolk, is also speaking at the conference. Picture: CASPaul White, volunteer manager, Community Action Suffolk, is also speaking at the conference. Picture: CAS

“It empowers your staff with new leadership behaviours, has a positive impact on their social and teamwork skills, and can help you change and improve the culture within your organisation.”

Other benefits of ESV are said to include helping businesses make a “social impact”, improving staff recruitment and retention and career development.

The conference, which is taking place at Adastral Park in Martlesham Heath on Thursday, will feature key speakers, including Lisa Perkins, director of strategic research and innovation at BT and Rebecca White, Your Own Place CIC.

Kerry Knight and Bruce Burgoyne of Mackman will be leading a workshop on “working with other brands”; Angela Lee-Foster, of Suffolk Pro Help, will be advising on “professional volunteering services and Matthew Cole of Prettys will be offering legal advice.

Jo Belfield, Volunteering Services Officer for Mid Suffolk and Babergh will be attending the Suffolk Volunteering Conference. Picture: BEN MATTHEWSJo Belfield, Volunteering Services Officer for Mid Suffolk and Babergh will be attending the Suffolk Volunteering Conference. Picture: BEN MATTHEWS

CAS aims to help organisation looking to set-up an ESV programme, as well as those that already offer ESV but want to do more to “inspire staff to get out and get involved in their community”.

Guidance will also be offered about how to consider what the “host” organisation can gain from staff volunteering.

Visit Community Action Suffolk to find out more about the event, which is supported by BT.

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