Celebrating 10 years of ‘saintly’ volunteers across Northern Ireland

Business in the Community is celebrating 10 years of its employer supported volunteering project Be a Saint Day. More than 150 community and voluntary groups have received practical help from 3000 business volunteers since 2009.

  • Volunteering initiative has helped 150 community groups since 2009
  • 3000 volunteers from 250 businesses have given up their time to provide practical assistance to local community groups
  • Estimated value of £260,000 in support to local community groups and charities

This year’s action day takes place on Friday 15 March and employers from across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to release their employees for the annual Be a Saint Day to help a range of charities through volunteering.

‘Saintly’ duties will include a range of fun, practical challenges – from running a charity shop for a day to garden maintenance – there will be something for everyone. Locations include: Antrim, Banbridge, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Bangor, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Carryduff, Cookstown, Derry~Londonderry, Downpatrick, Drumahoe, Enniskillen, Greyabbey, Holywood, Larne, Lisburn, Maghera, Newtownards, Newry, Newtownabbey, Omagh and Whitehead.

In partnership with Volunteer Now and supported by SPAR, Be a Saint Day has helped more than 150 local community and voluntary groups over the past decade. Gary Todd from Loughshore Education Centre explains: “Over the past 10 years, we have benefitted greatly from the support of business volunteers from the Be a Saint Day campaign. These volunteers have helped us transform our garden, a vital resource that we use to teach basic gardening skills and promote environmental awareness; just one of many subjects taught here at Loughshore to help young people reach their full potential.”

Andy Nisbet Friel, Communities Executive at Business in the Community explains: “We are delighted to celebrate 10 years of this landmark volunteering action day. Be a Saint Day is a great opportunity for local businesses and their employees to roll their sleeves up and give something back to their local communities in a ‘hands on’ way. From furniture upcycling to gardening, or helping out at animal sanctuaries – there’s plenty to choose from! Last year, 25 businesses took part, and we hope 2018 will see even more get on board!”

“This is our fifth year supporting ‘Be a Saint Day’ and we are excited to celebrate a decade of this fantastic campaign,” explains Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing for the Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland. “We are very proud of the impact it has made on local communities  with hundreds of charities benefitting from employees lending a hand for the day. The support given to charities is enormous; bringing much-needed resources to the projects. We hope we’ll see just as many people get involved this year, if not more.”

Denise Hayward, Chief Executive, Volunteer Now encourages: “Volunteers make a tremendous contribution to communities across Northern Ireland; many local organisations wouldn’t be able to deliver services deeply valued by many people without their time and dedication. This day of volunteering action is a great way for volunteers to make a difference in the community and have some fun at the same time.”

If you’d like to find out more or register to take part, please email andy.nisbetfriel@bitcni.org.uk or call (028) 9046 0606 to register.

Or, if you are a voluntary and community organisation and would like to put forward a group volunteering opportunity, e-mail lorraine.smyth@volunteernow.co.uk or call (028) 9023 2020.

For more information, visit www.bitcni.org.uk or www.volunteernow.co.uk