When it comes to applying for a new role, it’s no longer just based on the role itself. With most organisations now offering flexible working hours and in-house benefits, employees are looking for more. They want a company that shares their passion and offers a meaningful and fulfilling place to work. One of our own employees, Lauren Edwards, Front of House, shares what we do at Thomsons. 

"I spent my time at university volunteering at residential homes and summer camps, and I wasn’t ready to put that all on the backburner. After graduating from university, I began my search for a company that supported other people’s needs, was passionate about charitable causes, and that I’d feel proud to work for.

I started working at Thomsons last year, and since then I’ve learnt that Thomsons’ employees have ran, cycled, swam, climbed, walked, kayaked, climbed some more, baked (a lot!), built, decorated, volunteered, zombie-walked and so much more, all in the name of charity!

There is a visible impact in taking the time out of your day to help others, and Thomsons sees this, allowing employees to volunteer and contribute to charity in their preferred way. Whether it’s running the London Marathon, painting pots at an elderly home or even playing 72 rounds of golf – there are so many ways we can make a difference. I’m incredibly proud to work for a company where I am supported to help the causes I am truly passionate about.”

So how do the PINK people do it?

Lauren tells us that every year, all Thomsons employees can take advantage of their Pay It Forward Day, one paid day to go fundraise or volunteer. Putting that into perspective, that’s two Thomsons people each day of the year volunteering or raising money for good causes! In addition to their chosen PIF day, Thomsons will match any employees’ own fundraising activity up to the value of £500!

If employees don’t have their own fundraising activity planned, they can get involved in the Thomsons annual challenge. This year, in the wake of devastating forest fires that are threatening the air that we breathe, the Thomsons’ PIF team chose the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as its charity of choice. The annual challenge was to collectively cycle 7,000 miles across five days to raise urgent funds. We did this by setting up spin bikes in every office across the globe, and encouraging employees to get on their own bikes to explore the great outdoors.

"However, we appreciate fundraising isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so this year we introduced our very own Employee Volunteering Scheme" Lauren explains. We offered employees various projects to take part in across the week to support the local community, from chatting to elderly people to painting to getting stuck into some gardening. The visible impact of each day was significant. Speaking about her day gardening at Clapham Common, Katt Newson, Collection and Billing Specialist said: “It gave us the chance to interact with members of the public passing through the area – they all had positive words of encouragement and seemed genuinely thrilled with the efforts”.

Associate Consultant, Helen Day volunteered at a residential home for people with high-risk mental illness. The day had a positive impact on her too – “I don’t think I had really considered how residents came to be at the home or what they might have already achieved in their life, so it was great to have my judgements and first impressions challenged and to know what I was doing was appreciated.”

There are many reasons why organisations should encourage volunteering, from the mental health benefits through to socialising with others, the physical activity involved and even the genuine fact it makes us feel good to do good. I’m incredibly proud to work for a company where I am supported to help the causes I am truly passionate about.