Victoria University of Wellington has become the new naming sponsor for the Volunteer Wellington Corporate Challenge.
The annual challenge, which runs from January to June each year, sees almost 550 employees from businesses and Government departments across the capital, get paid to spend a day volunteering in their community.
Volunteer Wellington runs the challenge, and connects employers to volunteer projects as diverse as native tree planting and business mentoring.
Victoria University is a global-civic university that values close involvement with the social, cultural and economic life of the city and region and aims to foster civic-minded graduates. Victoria University of Wellington has partnered up with Volunteer Wellington to throw out a challenge to local businesses to 'walk the talk' of corporate social responsibility and become actively involved in their communities.
Victoria’s Vice-Provost Academic and Equity, Professor Linda Trenberth says the University takes its commitment to civic engagement seriously.
“Victoria is one of the biggest employers in Wellington. Our staff and students are involved in the capital city in myriad ways – they already contribute to the community through a wide range of volunteering activities and the Corporate Challenge will be an opportunity to encourage even greater participation.”
The Corporate Challenge culminates with an awards evening, held during National Volunteer Week, where outstanding employee volunteering efforts are celebrated.
ANZ took home the prize in last year's Corporate Challenge with an epic project helping Earthlink, who provides support services to people facing barriers to employment. Several large teams of ANZ volunteers helped to move 200 tonnes of goods and equipment to help set up a new warehouse.
"Volunteering at Earthlink was such a rewarding experience. We made a difference and helped them with what seemed like an impossible task,” says ANZ project leader Melissa Middleton.
ANZ Government Relations and Corporate Responsibility Advisor Ashlee McCormick, agrees.
“ANZ has a strong focus on giving back to the community; our staff donate on average over 15,000 hours each year. The Corporate Challenge is a great way for our staff to support the great work that is being done in the Wellington region by local organisations”.
Julie Thomson, the Regional Manager of Volunteer Wellington says the programme has been running for 15 years and has generated an enormous amount of activity during that time. This new relationship with Victoria University opens up possibilities for an even greater impact.
“We're hoping this partnership will allow us to reach new heights and connect with even more Wellington businesses. We’re looking to add another 10 businesses to our books and see even more value given back to our communities,” says Ms Thomson.
“Wellington is a great city full of wonderful people. It’s known as the coolest little capital, we’d like it to also be known as the volunteering capital.
“If you’re an employer or employee who wants to take on the challenge of giving back and be crowned the 2018 champion then please sign up.”