NI Water donates 7,000 hours to help 70 good causes

Northern Ireland Water has donated a staggering 7,000 employee hours to help good causes throughout Northern Ireland. Supported by Business in the Community, the organisation has helped over 1,000 employees to volunteer their time through a wide range of monthly volunteering activities during the past five years.

Since 2012, the organisation has mobilised a team of different employees to take part in volunteering challenges each month, from painting residential care homes, to tree planting and conservation work. To date, over 70 charities have benefited including Wave Trauma Centre, Foyle Hospice and Action for Children.

The organisation’s most recent challenge took place at Kilcreggan Urban Farm in Carrickfergus. The small urban farm, owned by Kilcreggan Homes, provides valuable opportunities for its service users who have Learning Disabilities/Autism to learn new skills and build their confidence.

Making the most of the sunshine at Kilcreggan Urban Farm on Thursday 21 September are (L-R): Glenn Nixon from NI Water, Denise Cranston, Business in the Community; Sara Venning from NI Water; Sammy Hamilton, NI Water and Daman Cassidy, Kilcreggan Homes.

Sara Venning, Chief Executive of NI Water, was part of the team helping at Kilcreaggan Urban Farm. She explains: “At NI Water, we are committed to helping improve the quality of life in Northern Ireland. These challenges are a fantastic opportunity for members of our team, who may not normally work together, to join forces and give back to their local communities, whilst team building and learning new skills.”

In the past five years, Northern Ireland Water has donated the equivalent of 200 weeks’ worth of employee time which has provided invaluable support to community organisations that need it most.

Volunteering at Kilcreggan Urban Farm, Carrickfergus: a team from Northern Ireland Water help construct recycling bins on Thursday 21 September.

“Having the support of organisations like NI Water, ensures we are able to provide critical site maintenance in a minimal time frame that ensures our service users don’t face any disruption in the service they receive,” explains Kilcreggan Homes Manager, Damian Cassidy. “The farm is a valuable extension of our facility, which helps our service users to develop skills in animal care and horticulture. The training we provide at the farm promotes confidence & self esteem and develops social skills, employability skills and teamwork skills, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank NI Water for their invaluable support over the years.”

Business in the Community’s Head of Community Programmes, Denise Cranston adds: “Volunteering is a winning formula for employers, employees and the community alike. It’s very much a mutually beneficial exchange, helping volunteers to build their confidence and learn new skills, whilst making a huge difference to the charities and community groups they support. It also has a number of other business benefits including increased loyalty, improved reputation and skills development.

“I would encourage any community or voluntary group needing support, or businesses that want to give back in a practical way, to get in touch with our team at Business in the Community and we’ll help you get started.”

To find out more, visit www.bitcni.org.uk or email hilary.hanberry@bitcni.org.uk or call (028) 9046 0606.

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