Portakabin builds new links with the community

Volunteers from Portakabin Group, which has its head office in York, have made an enthusiastic start to their employee-volunteering scheme with York Cares.

Over the last nine years, York Cares has grown from having five to 36 member employers, representing  over a quarter of the city’s workforce. Portakabin Group is the most recent employer to get involved.

Coinciding with National Volunteers’ Week, Portakabin launched a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) employee volunteering scheme last month.

Derek Carter, Chief Executive, Portakabin Group, said: “Community involvement is an important objective for our business, and volunteering in collaboration with York Cares gives us a great opportunity to make an impact in our local communities.”

Employee-volunteers from Portakabin made an energetic start to their new scheme during York Cares’ Team Challenge Week in June.

The team of volunteers spent a morning helping to maintain the Greenfields Community School & Garden.

A volunteer from Portakabin said: “The Team Challenge was a great opportunity to really make a tangible difference in the local community. It was really satisfying to see what could be achieved in so little time with some great teamwork.”

York Cares’ employee-volunteers can also make a real difference by sharing their business expertise with members of the community.

Last month, Nick Griffin and Matt Cotton, from Portakabin volunteered to be ‘Dragons’ as part of the  University of York’s @Work programme, which enables students to participate in projects with organisations across the city to complement their academic studies. As part of the programme, students are asked to present their project plans to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of business representatives who provide constructive feedback.

Nick sat on the panel for the students’ ‘Education and Young People’ projects, which included the York Children’s University (York CU) Advertising and Law & Justice modules.

He said: “As a parent of a teenager just deciding on university applications [the Dragon’s Den] was really interesting for me personally and it was good fun!

“It was encouraging to see some bright young people putting effort into these things alongside exams.”

Matt helped to advise students on ‘Arts Outreach’ projects, including CU events such as ‘Storytelling’ and the ‘York Curiouser Workshop’. Matt said that he was “glad we could ‘do our bit’ to help the students prepare for their future careers.”