SSE and Volunteer Scotland announce ground-breaking partnership

28 October 2015

Energy company SSE has today (28/10/15) announced a ground-breaking new partnership with Volunteer Scotland, designed to provide unprecedented levels of support for employer volunteering across Scotland.

SSELogoSSE and Volunteer Scotland will pilot Investing in Volunteers for Employers (IiVE) in Scotland, share learning among employers, employees and volunteer-involving organisations, and develop new ways to measure the impact of employer supported volunteering.

The partnership will build on SSE’s ‘Be the difference’ campaign which encourages staff to support community projects by using one day a year, paid by the company, to do volunteer work.  Over the past five years SSE employees have supported over 2,600 community projects and contributed 27,884 days of support through the company’s volunteering programme.

Gillian O’Reilly from SSE said:

"This is a very exciting partnership for SSE which has long placed employee volunteering at the heart of how it operates. Working alongside Volunteer Scotland allows us to take this to the next level and enables us to ensure we can make a real difference within the communities where we operate. SSE is a long-term company that is rooted in the communities where staff live and work and that’s why we encourage staff to support good causes by volunteering or raise funds."

George Thomson from Volunteer Scotland said:

"We’re looking forward to working with SSE, to learning from the experience of SSE employees and sharing our insights into delivering employee volunteering programmes. We appreciate that SSE are showing real leadership and by working together we’ll have the chance to increase and develop employee volunteering across Scotland, for the benefit of employers, volunteers themselves and the communities they support."

Volunteering within SSE has provided real benefits to employees and the community groups they support. Approximately 70% of FTSE 100 companies have an ESV [Employer Supported Volunteering] programme, however, recent figures show SSE to be one of the leading provides of ESV.

Many employees volunteer in their own time outside work and ESV is a small part of the time they volunteer, but for others the ESV programme enables them to participate when they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Volunteer Scotland is also a founding member of the Employee Volunteering European Network (EVEN) and the partnership with SSE will contribute to work taking place across Europe to increase effective employer supported volunteering opportunities.

Over the past year at SSE staff, through the Be the difference initiative, have given 5,058 volunteer days, supported 542 projects, and contributed £400,000 of people time. This adds up to a participation rate of 26% which is an industry leading figure.