SSE employees take volunteering to the next level

It’s National Volunteers’ Week - The Big Celebration but employees from SSE are out throughout the year volunteering in the communities we serve.

Each year, SSE employees are granted time away from their day jobs to take part in volunteering and charitable works.

The ‘Be the Difference’ programme allows workers to donate their time to causes close to their hearts in the communities where they live and work, and the events and projects undertaken cover a huge variety of causes.

‘Be the Difference’ champion, Heather Black from Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) explains: 

“Aside from my day job as a Health and Safety Administrator, I work with other champions across the business to help highlight and co-ordinate ‘Be the Difference’ days for colleagues in SHE Transmission and it’s amazing to see all of the different activities that take place across the year. 

“We’ve had village centres brightened up by flower planting, primary school gardens tidied and tended, river banks cleared to help the environment, war memorials repaired and repainted, local and national charities boosted by fund-raising days and animal charities benefiting from time spend caring for our four-legged friends. The programme brings so much to us by taking part in the causes near and dear to us, but it gives so much more back to the community.”

Community is at the heart of the ‘Be the Difference’ programme but that doesn’t have to mean colleagues don’t travel further afield, as a trip to Tanzania proved last year when a team of workmates joined forces with the Vine Trust to help build houses in the East African country.

Vic Stirling, SHE Transmission’s Head of Performance is always keen for his team to take up their days and give something back. He said: “The benefits to being involved in the ‘Be the Difference’ programme really can’t be measured or underestimated. Apart from the positivity it generates across the team when they know their work is supporting them to step away from their day job and do something good for others, it enables communities, organisations and individuals – in the north of Scotland and beyond – to reach out and get the help they need to transform lives.

“We can pull together groups of people to clean, paint, repair, plant, tidy and care for others; all tasks that could cost a great deal financially and that might have taken months or years of fundraising to achieve. It might be a day or two of our time, but the effects of the ‘Be the Difference’ programme can have a positive, long-lasting effect for years to come.”

Since the launch of SSE's ‘Be the Difference’ volunteering programme, it has helped over 2,500 projects.