National Volunteers Week: celebrating the act of giving back

What can you do in two days?

Walk from London to Birmingham? Read Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities twice? Listen to a Spotify playlist of the 1,000 greatest song of all time?

We believe that 48 hours can make the all the difference. So, we offer all our people the opportunity to take a breather from their normal work for two days each year specifically to give a little back to society.

Not just because new experiences enrich the mind and stimulate better creative thinking but because we’re in the business of helping brands better communicate with the world around them.

And if we’re going to do this in the best way possible then we need to treat society as an equal partner.  

Shaping the next generation of talent

That’s why we last year we launched our future talent schools programme, The Code.

It’s a three-year programme that launched in 2017 across 40 UK schools, delivering a series of talks and digital skills workshops to students from a broad range of backgrounds, providing first-hand experience of the advertising and media industry.

By 2020, we will have opened up 15,000 bright young minds to a career in advertising, given 50,000 community hours back to schools and will recruit 50% of our apprentices through the scheme.

Overall those that took part in The Code programme said that they felt a sense of achievement, were more confident working with young people, and felt more motivated in their day jobs.

Tom Cull, chief operating officer for our digital marketing agency iProspect, was one of those that took part in a workshop. “It was a great eye opener into how much raw talent and ideas you can find in young students,” he said. “Also you get real perspective on your day job by taking time out to work with others.”

However, The Code isn’t the only way open to our people to give a little something back.

Helping all walks of society

Many of our people put their energy into generating a positive impact for local communities and environments around us and motivates ourselves and others we work with.

Richard Sands from Carat worked with Age UK Camden to help the older generation with their digital skills. "It's extremely satisfying to empower someone with new technology skills and which can make a big difference to their day-to-day life,” he said. “And it's feels great to give something back to society."

Meanwhile up in Manchester, the team there have putting their time into Street Support, a charity focussed on homeless in the city.

"One of the best things about is being able to use our media knowledge to create meaningful change to people lives, which isn't something we get to do every day,” said one of the team. “It's been so rewarding to see Street Support's positive reaction to our work and we can't wait to see our ideas in action"

Similarly, George Peters, Group Account Director at Amplifi, donates his time to the Samaritans as a listening volunteer. "I've gained valuable skills and met so many other volunteers from all walks of life,” he said. “There is a great sense of personal pride in being there for someone in their moment of need"

At London’s The Qube, which houses our location and lifestyle specialists Posterscope and MKTG among others, they support the local Soup Kitchen serving food and befriending those who visit the centres.  

"The experience is very humbling, being able to simply offer my time to help those in need is hugely rewarding,” said Nicci Loudon at Posterscope. “It puts things in perspective and makes you step back from your day to day job. It opened my eyes to the community around us."

A serious sense of well-being

A whopping 96% of our volunteers have said it was a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with colleagues and perhaps more importantly a further 87% felt they have had a lasting positive impact.

Two days makes a big difference.

Media Contact

Josh Colley

External Communications Manager