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Ipswich Building Society Volunteering Promise

One of the ways Ipswich Building Society fulfils its role in society is to allow all staff to spend up to half a day per month volunteering. Featured below are three of their employees who share the benefits of their volunteering experiences.

Joanne, Customer Advisor, friend to dogs and people in need.

I think it’s important that we try to make a difference, however little time we have, it’s always worth it, because there are always people who badly need your help.

I volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust whose work recognises the companionship a pet can bring to elderly and terminally ill people. There are so many physical and emotional benefits to having a pet, and it is often people who need them most that find they are unable to look after a dog or cat without help. I’m passionate about helping animals too, so the combination is perfect for me.

At the Cinnamon Trust I help on the front line by walking dogs for people unable to do so, and rehoming dogs once their owners have passed away – not an easy thing to do. I also help at the dog rescue centre, where I conduct home inspections prior to rehoming, socialise and train new dogs, and I also foster dogs that have been traumatised or unable to cope with kennel life.

Since I started volunteering I’ve been inspired to learn more, and I’m currently studying dog psychology. Once I’m qualified, I want to help people adopting rescue dogs.

It’s ridiculously hard at times to separate yourself from the situations you see when volunteering, but knowing my involvement makes life better for people as well as the animals makes it worthwhile.


Teresa, Compliance Assistant and local school volunteer.  

I started volunteering as a member of Gorseland School Parents and Friends Association when my children began at the school. I wanted to firstly help the school raise extra funds for those all important extras that are not funded, like sports kit, and playground equipment. But it’s also important for me to be a part of the school and get to know the head and the teachers.

I started out just as a member of the committee, but I’ve recently been voted to chair it. Naturally it takes up a lot of spare time, but it’s manageable and I really enjoy it. It’s become a real family job: my children get involved too helping me make things, cook or produce leaflets; I even drag my husband into it.

There’s a huge sense of achievement for such a small committee, and you can see the benefit in improvements when money is spent on the school. The head and teachers appreciate the effort we put in too, although whether my children like knowing I have a direct link to the head I am less certain!


Stacey, Sudbury Branch and community policing "Street Watch" volunteer. 

I’m not so sure that I’m a volunteer by nature, but since the time is part of my work, I felt well, why wouldn’t you? I chose the voluntary policing project mainly because I spend all day in an office and I wanted to something more active.

Street watch is a visible policing job where volunteers walk a beat around the town for up to two hours, accompanied by a full-time officer, a special, or another volunteer. We don’t exactly get involved in dealing with crimes, it’s more of a preventative thing – a visible presence – and also to report incidents.

Most of the other volunteers locally are much older than me, but we’re all like-minded in that we want to use a bit of time to do something useful in the community. Whilst we’re out people often stop and talk, and many say how grateful they are that we’re there – simply being seen to take an interest in what’s going on in our town. It’s especially valuable to people on their own who feel more vulnerable in neighbourhoods where the sense of community is lost or where there tend to be more problems.

Volunteering’s good for me too, even though there are times when it’s not so easy to motivate myself. Once you’re out there it feels good, because you know it’s needed and people appreciate what you’re doing.

For further information about Ipswich Building Society click here. 



Kevin Barber
About the Author

Kevin Barber

Trading for Good East of England. Helping small businesses strengthen their reputation and grow by showcasing the good work that they do in their communities.

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