Vast, a charity focused on the Voluntary sector in Stoke-on-Trent and parts of South Staffordshire, discussed the benefits of employee volunteering, including improved retention, brand awareness, empowerment, team cohesion, and new skills.
Two pathways were discussed – Group Volunteering and Individual Volunteering. Vast offers a Corporate Social Responsibility program for team volunteering.
Participants shared their experiences with volunteering initiatives in their businesses, including giving back strategies and collaborations with educational institutions.
The forum discussed challenges in finding trustees for charities and the need for more support and training in this area.
Participants debated the value of “free” training and the barriers to its effectiveness, as well as funding sources and training opportunities.
Policy updates were shared, including concerns about childcare and the energy crisis. The increase in the minimum wage and its impact on staffing levels was also discussed.
The importance of working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was emphasized, with examples of gender equality initiatives in some businesses