This #VolunteersWeek, Millie Hawes from Fieldfisher shares how their teams have been getting stuck in and volunteering with St Mungo’s, and what getting involved has meant to them.
The St Mungo’s and Fieldfisher partnership is like no other. St Mungo’s has gone above and beyond in giving our people the chance to get involved in every aspect of their work, allowing us to get a genuine insight into their community.
Corporate volunteering is at the heart of our partnership. Fieldfisher’s staff were excited that not only could they get stuck into wild and wonderful fundraising activities, but they could also engage directly with St Mungo’s clients. Our IT team was especially keen to leverage their skills to support people in their recovery from homelessness. They designed a bespoke web development course for the Recovery College and helped to upskill those ambitious clients looking to one day set up their own business. The team are now working on developing a more holistic IT and soft skills training course that will be delivered remotely in this new post-Covid-19 world. This project has enabled Fieldfisher teams to develop their skills personally and professionally while offering an invaluable opportunity to increase the employability of St Mungo’s clients.
Volunteering doesn’t have to fit in a neat box; it complements fundraising and awareness-raising beautifully. For World Homelessness Day in October, and to mark the 50th Anniversary of St Mungo’s, 50 Fieldfisher employees donned the eye-catching orange t-shirts for the day and walked the streets of London raising money and awareness for St Mungo’s (those t-shirts really are hard to miss), and referring any rough sleepers they saw via StreetLink. This was the perfect catalyst to inspire people to do more. Motivated by the people they met and stories they heard, teams signed up to prepare Christmas meals and create decorations at some of St Mungo’s services, one department put on a rugby event with a few familiar faces (spot who you recognise below), and others started doing weekly lunch-time runs around London so they could chat with rough sleepers they came across.
What’s next? I hear you ask. The world around us may be changing, but we are prioritising creativity in finding new ways of doing things. Remote digital inclusion workshops being the obvious next step. We are also all too aware of some of the housing and social welfare legal challenges facing people experiencing homelessness so we are launching a project to empower St Mungo’s staff to help clients have their rights realised.
Ultimately, our passion to support St Mungo’s and their clients continues to grow. Volunteering isn’t just a ‘nice thing to do’, it has given us a chance to develop and share our own skills, to think creatively, to take initiative, and to take responsibility for helping to change lives. There’s so much on offer so, what’s stopping you? Get stuck into the community!
Volunteers are an integral part of St Mungo’s and we recognise and value the huge contribution they make, there are many ways to get involved.