SSE passes 27,000 volunteering days mark

As we’re halfway through Volunteer’s Week (1-7 June) what better time to reflect on the volunteering SSE employees undertake.

Over the past two years, SSE has become a Living Wage employer and gained the Fair Tax Mark which guarantees we pay the right amount of tax, at the right time and in the right way. More recently we have been investing in dementia awareness for our staff to help them deal more effectively with customers who require extra help. At SSE we are always developing ways to make a difference to customers and employees.

Something that isn’t so new but has an enormous impact is SSE’s ongoing commitment to local communities through our employee volunteering programme called ‘Be the difference’. Every year, SSE gives every employee the right to a day’s paid leave to help a group, project or charity that matters to them in their local community.

Employee volunteering has been a part of SSE’s culture for over six years now and has one of the highest participation rates of any large company in the UK, indeed we recently breached the 27,000 days mark.

What makes the SSE programme even more remarkable is that it is entirely employee led. It’s our employee’s enthusiasm, energy, hard work, passion and commitment that makes the difference to the communities we serve.

It’s heart-rending to hear some of the reasons why our colleagues choose projects to help. Sometimes it’s because they’ve been personally affected, it could be something that’s touched their family and friends or it can simply be something that matters to them or a colleague.

According to the NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations), who run Volunteers’ Week, there are 161,000 active voluntary organisations in the UK. This is equivalent to one organisation for every 395 people. Of these organisations, only 11% employ a paid member of staff – the remaining 89% are volunteer-run. This highlights the importance of volunteering.

To find out more about how we can Be the Difference for your charity, organisation, school or community group, click here.

About the author

Gillian O'Reilly Head of Heritage and Community Programmes

Gillian is Head of Heritage and Community Programmes. She is part of the CA directorate and supports SSE's businesses to actively get involved with their local communities. Her responsibilities include employee volunteering, matched funding and charity partnerships. She is also heavily involved in bringing SSE's heritage to life.

Read more articles by Gillian O'Reilly