The spirit of volunteerism is an essential component without which corporate social investment programmes cannot succeed. It is the commitment of individuals to programmes and the empowerment of those less fortunate than themselves that marks true giving, guests at the ninth Old Mutual Staff Volunteerism Awards were told last night.
Speaking at the event, Iain Williamson Old Mutual Acting CEO told nominees for the Old Mutual Volunteerism Awards from across South Africa, that it was the volunteers within the company that defined the character of Old Mutual as a responsible business.
Participation in giving to others had several faces in the company, Williamson said.
They include the Staff Payroll Giving Programme, which has seen Old Mutual staff donate more than R 21 million to causes supported by the Old Mutual Foundation – which in turn has matched the donation- enabling the Foundation to use R 42 million to the benefit of 300 recipients.
“Building on this, is the Care and Share drive that enables employees to take a day’s paid leave to take part in community -building projects in addition to the Mandela Day events which we support. The Partners for Possibility Programme (PfP), an internationally recognised leadership development programme within the education sector, has seen R 4.85 million spent on benefitting 941 teachers, 31 237 learners and 40 school principals.’
“Besides the ‘formal’ volunteerism programmes in which 30% of Old Mutual staff participate, must be added the unsung efforts of staff who take part in fund-raising drives within their communities, tutoring small business owners and mentoring others. These efforts, although significant, are often undertaken on an individual basis and are difficult to quantify.”
“Our Staff Volunteerism Awards are a powerful reminder of what can be achieved when people work together with a visionary determination and perseverance to make a real difference and build a better nation,” Williamson said.
During the evening Old Mutual staff were honoured for committing their personal time and skills to benefit others. The Awards Categories included Most Extraordinary Volunteer, Most Extraordinary Team, Best Manager (supporting Staff Volunteerism) Best Provincial Management Board (supporting Staff Volunteerism), Best Business Divisions (supporting Staff Volunteerism) and CEO’s Volunteerism Award.