epson 1 smallWe had a fabulous Cream Tea and Networking event at Shendish Manor Hotel on Wednesday 13th June and the weather was glorious for us.

The topic was on Volunteering and our guest speakers were Stuart Chalmers, HR Manager from Epson and Charlotte Hendrey, Communications Officer from Sunnyside Rural Trust.

First up to speak was Stuart who talked about the ethos at Epson and why it is so important to them as employers to look after their staff, and a part of that is giving them time in the working day to volunteer for a charity or community organisation.  They would like to encourage more staff to volunteer and are looking at ways to do this.  Working with Connect Dacorum to highlight any opportunities available.

Next was Charlotte who talked about the great work that Sunnyside Rural Trust do in offering people with learning difficulties training and work skills with plants, vegetables and fruit and even chickens.  They are always happy to support individual volunteers or team challenges to come and spend time with them.

As with any team challenge opportunity, companies who are sending a team of people to volunteer should also be prepared to have a budget which would be spent on buying the materials needed to do the job - whether it is painting or building, or even revamping.  Individual volunteering opportunites may not need a budget depending on the activity the volunteer is doing.  Connect Dacorum can work with companies to find either team challenges or indivudal opportunities so do let me know if you are interested.  Charities can also let me know if you have any opportunities available which I can then post out to our contacts. 

After the presentations Cindy talked about the opportunities coming up with regards to the Employability Days on the 26th June and 16th July, and also the search for new Business mentors (Dragons) for the next Dragons Apprentice Challenge. 

Shendish then served up delicious finger sandwiches and scones with jam and clotted cream while guests were able to network.

Our next networking event is on Thursday 30th August from 12 noon to 2pm at The Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead and you can book through the link here.  Hope to see you all there.