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What a difference a week makes - Virgin Media in the community

29 November 2011

What a difference a week makes - Virgin Media in the community


Could you make a positive difference in your community in just five minutes? This was the challenge at the heart of our very first Virgin Media Community Week, which took place earlier this month.

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JP Hamilton

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Doing good is an integral part of working at a Virgin company and we know that it's important to our staff across all of our offices. The tricky bit is figuring out the best way of giving people a chance to do this, particularly when we're an organisation made up of field and office staff. So, we wanted to help employees find great ways of doing good in their communities, especially options that wouldn't require a financial commitment – an important factor in these tough times.

We had five themes for five days; three of them, 'Give Time', 'Give Stuff', 'Give Life', were all ways to use time and existing possessions to make a difference; and 'Give a Shout' and 'Give a Pat on the Back' were ways to recognise what people are already doing and to encourage them to keep up the good work.

'Give Time' was about volunteering and, since every Virgin Media employee is given one day a year to do this, for Community Week we encouraged people to spend five minutes looking at what they could volunteer for and telling their manager about it. As part of 'Give Stuff' we asked people to do a quick raid of their old clothes and accessories and bring them in for central collection. 'Give Life' encouraged people to go and sign up for blood donations, the organ donor register and the Anthony Nolan stem cell and marrow register. Virgin Media also changed our policy to give anyone called up for stem or marrow donations one week's paid leave to recuperate.

Our internal Shout programme allows people to recognise peers with a message on their personal homepage – also entering them into a draw to win one of many £50 vouchers each month. 'Give a Pat on the Back' allowed us to recognise heroes such as Steven Greenhalgh in Access Field who efficiently arranged for collection points for Stuff throughout our national distribution network, and Amanda Coles who personally ensured the volunteering rate was over 25% of staff in our Shared Service function.

The Virgin Media Community Week builds on the growing profile of our charity and community work. This week followed the very successful (and fun) Virgin Media Charity Day that we held in July raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity. Of course our plans for 2012 are even more exciting, so watch this space to find out more.

I'd love to hear from any Virgin Media employees about what they thought of the week, or, if you work for another organisation, it'd be great to hear about your community initiatives.

Get in touch!

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