Supporting Education and Empowering Communities: Business in the Community Northern Ireland’s Volunteering Initiatives

By Ciara Mulgrew, Programme Executive, Time to Programmes

Did you know that for more than 20 years Business in the Community Northern Ireland has been making a difference in the lives of primary school pupils across the country?

Through our volunteering initiatives, we have provided invaluable support to nearly 20,000 young learners, fostering their literacy, numeracy, and digital skills while creating lasting impacts on their educational journeys.

We have now launched our new Primary School Interventions Hub to help businesses discover three key ways in which they can encourage colleagues to get involved in inspiring our future workforce at an early age. It’s always ‘time to’ join in!

Time to Read: Cultivating a Love for Reading

Our longest-running intervention, Time to Read, aims to cultivate a lifelong love of reading in young minds. By pairing volunteers with pupils, we create a positive reading environment that instils a passion for storytelling and comprehension. Through Time to Read, participating children experience heightened confidence, empathy, and compassion.

Time 2 Count: Turning Math into Fun

Math anxiety or disinterest in the subject can hinder a child’s progress. That’s where Time 2 Count steps in! Our volunteers use board games and card games to make learning math topics more relaxed and enjoyable. The small group setting, facilitated by our volunteers, helps students tackle math with newfound enthusiasm.

“Board games enhance mathematical abilities for young children. Using board games can be considered a strategy with potential effects on basic and complex maths skills.” Dr. Jaime Balladares, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

Time to Code: Nurturing Digital Skills

In the digital age, digital literacy and coding skills are essential for future success. Time to Code focuses on introducing children to coding concepts and computational thinking through interactive and hands-on activities. From basic coding languages to problem-solving exercises, our volunteers through our partnership with Code Club, empower children to confidently navigate the digital landscape and pursue exciting opportunities in technology.

The Power of Employer-Supported Volunteering

Our success wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support from our member companies and beyond, who believe in the value of employer-supported volunteering (ESV). ESV not only benefits participating employees by fostering personal growth and fulfilment but also positively impacts company culture, mental health, and employee recognition.

Your Support Matters: Make a Difference Today!

As we face challenges in the education landscape due to budget cuts, volunteer support becomes even more critical. By supporting Time to Read, Time 2 Count, and Time to Code, you help us bridge the attainment gap and create brighter futures for children and communities in Northern Ireland.

Get Involved!

Join us in promoting employer-supported volunteering across your organisation. Together, let’s provide much-needed support to schools and pupils and ensure no child is left behind. Contact us at to learn how you can make a lasting impact.