Surely there’s a mistake in the title above? Can you really help young people to learn through being active and actually enjoy it?
This week, 900 of the fabulous Lloyds Banking Group staff are finding out the answer, as part of their annual Give & Gain Week through their partnership with national charity, SportInspired. Employees spend some of their work time volunteering in the communities local to where they work. Since 2008, nearly 20,000 employee volunteers have helped inspire young people through our Games programmes, and we remain as passionate as ever about the difference volunteering makes. The influx of new role models, new skills and new ideas brings a community together, builds confidence and re-injects energy and passion. For the sponsoring employer, it is a powerful tool in the development and engagement of the individual, and the motivation and pride of the workforce, while building all manner of sustainable relationships with local stakeholders.
2016 brings an exciting new approach to the SportInspired Games programmes: ‘Active Learning’. Lloyds volunteers are helping us get 2,000 children and teenagers across the UK to learn new knowledge and skills through being active. This is a hugely engaging way of helping people learn a variety of skills from teamwork, to leadership, to resilience and even helping embed academic subjects such as science and maths in fun ways. Across the UK Lloyds volunteers are being role models and mentors for the children this week, giving even the least confident a safe environment for them to express themselves, try new things and have fun through being active.
We’ve had some great outcomes in previous years, and we know we’ll see the same from 2016. In Edinburgh, we were honoured to have Frankie come back to visit us. We first worked with Frankie in 2014, who back then, was shy and held back. The Lloyds volunteers cheered him on and gave him so much confidence that he discovered trampolining as a way to have fun and develop his skills. He’s been going to the local trampolining club ever since, and this year, he came back to showcase his new skills to over 300 children, young people and volunteers. The change for him, throughout his life, has been incredible.
For us, the SportInspired mission continues. If you too believe in the power of employee volunteering, and / or in having communities connected through young people enjoying being active, do get in touch. And a final word for our fantastic volunteers without whom it none of this would happened: THANK YOU – you really do make a difference.