More volunteers took part in London City Airport’s annual Volunteering Fortnight than ever before, with 61 staff taking time out of their working weeks to participate in the initiative and make a meaningful contribution to local organisations and charities.
Airport staff from across all parts of the business volunteered at ten different community partners and charities in East London, dedicating their time, skills and expertise to activities and causes in six boroughs - Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. In total, the combined contribution of time to good causes equated to 429 hours, exceeding last year’s tally of 375 hours.
It is the fourth year in a row that that the airport has organised its Volunteering Fortnight, running from 29 May to 9 June, coinciding with National Volunteers’ Week, with eight of the activities set up in collaboration with the East London Business Alliance (ELBA), including those at Barking Food Bank, Spitalfields City Farm, and the Waltham Forest Disability Resource Centre.
Fabienne Gress, Corporate Social Responsibility Executive at London City Airport, said:
“As one of the most community-focussed airports in the UK, our Volunteering Fortnight has developed into a focal point of the year in nurturing our relationship with local organisations and charities. It’s an excellent opportunity for staff from all parts of the airport to take time out from day-to-day duties and contribute to good causes.”
This year’s volunteering activities by borough included:
Barking & Dagenham
Barking Food Bank – groups of volunteers helped unpack and sort food donations from the airport. The Barking Food Bank receives referrals from local help agencies and social services to help feed people in crisis. Greenwich
Big Red Bus Club – volunteers helped redecorate facilities and completed gardening tasks at this local charity, including painting of the main hall and the creation of a mural. The Big Red Bus Club offers free play and stay sessions to local residents. Havering
Havering Pupil Referral Unit – students who are not in mainstream education due to exclusion attended the airport for an employability and interview workshop, where they learnt about the variety of jobs and skills required to work at the airport. Newham
Royal Docks Learning & Activity Centre – staff ran two events - one for the half-term school club at this local community centre in North Woolwich, and another as a skills sharing session with the airport’s health and safety team. RDLAC endeavours to make the Royal Docks a stronger, happier and healthy place to live. Cody Dock – volunteers repaired and painted the dock’s community boat, which will eventually host a number of social enterprises and activities. The 2.5 acre site next to the River Lea is run by The Gasworks Dock Partnership, which aims to build a framework for regeneration through the development of social enterprise's that provide employment, educational and cultural facilities. Calverton Primary School - 30 students attended the airport for an educational visit, guided tour and three workshops on running an airport (covering the topics of marketing, customer services & security). The activity was run in partnership with 15billionepb. Ellingham Employment Services – Airport volunteers ran a workshop for staff at this local charity to help improve its employment programmes, which focus on advice and support for people with disabilities entering the workplace, and their employers. Tower Hamlets
Spitalfields City Farm – at this farm in the heart of the city where local residents grow food and look after farm animals, volunteers did gardening, improved signage, painted fences and cleaned the duck pond.
Waltham Forest Disability Resource Centre – volunteers ran a painting and jewellery workshop, hosted a community choir session and served lunch at this centre which helps local disabled people develop new skills and further their independence. Volunteering Fortnight is part of the airport’s continued work and investment in local communities, with 2,333 hours volunteered in 2016, and comes in the same month that the airport collected an award at the International CSR Excellence Awards 2017.
Local charities and organisations are also eligible for the airport’s 30th anniversary fund, a £30,000 fund to support groups which enable significant and positive change for communities near London City Airport. Further details on the 30th anniversary fund, the closing date for which is Friday 28 July, can be found here.