In our industry, the term impact is usually associated with the challenges of reducing the environmental impact of producing wine and transporting it around the world. It is, however, just as relevant to the work we do in the community.
Our aim as a business is to make a positive impact on the wider society we operate in. We introduced our Community Volunteer Initiative at the start of the last financial year, setting a target to donate 0.1% of our time to charity, which equates to 20 paid hours a year for every member of the team.
We may be a small company, but we have national reach. Our Head Office is in West Drayton and our team is dotted all around the country. This meant we struggled to identify a single “local community”. As a result, we wanted to give our workers the opportunity to create long-term relationships with a local charity or community organisation that is meaningful to them, be it in West Drayton or where they live.
From animal welfare charities to food banks to English tutoring for refugees, the team has started working with a diverse array of charities around the country. Their involvement has not just helped the chosen charity or community project, it has been immensely rewarding for each volunteer.
Commitment to a cause
Marc Imig – Ex-cellar manager
Marc has been volunteering at Oxford Mutual Aid, a community-based food bank in the Cowley area. It was formed in response to the pandemic and has become a vital part of the city’s aid infrastructure. Since 2020 they have prepared and delivered over 20,000 food parcels and 30,000 meals. Alongside food parcels, they also support new and expectant mothers and help with collecting prescriptions or food shopping for a number of at-risk families.
Marc has used his 20 hours and continues to volunteer every Wednesday evening. Each week he is given a picking list, with the recipient’s likes and dislikes, and goes about preparing food packages. Sometimes there are donations to unpack and organise into the relevant departments. The work is fast-paced, fun, and reminiscent of Marc’s earlier days at Majestic Wine in the run-up to Christmas.
Andy Bagworth – Customer Services
Andy started working with Renova Trust in Bracknell six months ago. The charity takes in formerly homeless or precariously housed people and ex-offenders and provides them with the support to get back on their feet. They have a team of key workers who offer practical support and mentors that help each person build a positive friendship network.
In his role as a mentor, Andy sits down with individuals on a weekly basis to chat through how they are doing. This could involve anything from chatting through CVs, money planning, checking in on mental and physical health, or discussing favourite movies and music. You name it, they chat about it.
Andy finds this community work incredibly rewarding. It gives him the opportunity to speak to people with such interesting stories and get to know them much better as people, away from the stigma of living on the street. Not only has he used 14 of his 20 Community Volunteering
Initiative hours provided by the company to date, but he has also used a further 70 hours of his own time.