Year after year, Friends First staff continue to volunteer to dedicate their time to worthwhile initiatives such as the Friends First Schools Programme. Speaking about this year’s programme, Conal Brennan, the community CSR co-ordinator in Friends First commended the volunteers and initiatives saying “This is the fifth year that Friends First has worked with the local schools as part of our overall CSR Programme and our volunteer numbers have increased again. Our volunteers give the students a flavour of what it is like to work in the various roles that an Insurance Company offers and how working in an office is a viable career option.”
Schools programme initiatives
Friends First works with 2 local schools to provide support in the form of skill sharing and donations. The schools programme initiatives have been growing and developing each year to enable a growing number of Friends First staff to volunteer and skill share. As part of the overall schools programme for 2017/8 there are two noteworthy initiatives which stand out:
- Time to Read
Time to read is a literacy programme that sees Friends First volunteers spend quality time each week assisting 7 and 8 year old pupils from St. Colmcilles National School in Loughlinstown with their reading. The programme also included a trip to the Gaiety Christmas Pantomime for all of the 2nd class students and site visits to the Friends First office and Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire. This semester 12 volunteers spent over 120 hours with the students developing their love for reading.
- Skills @ Work
Skills @ Work is a career development programme for 5th year students of St Laurence’s College. On February 21st 18 5th year pupils visited the Friends First office. During their visit the students met staff who volunteered to talk about their careers and show them what their day-to-day work entails. Later in the school term, the students will return to the Friends First office and be given guidance and coaching on CV preparation and interview technique. Practice interviews will be carried out with the students to improve their interview skills and prepare them for real job interviews.
Friends in the Community
As part of our overall CSR programme we are dedicated to ensuring we have a positive impact on the community in which we operate. The volunteer staff really enjoy ‘giving back’ to the local community. As an employer invested in the development of our staff, the feedback we have received from participants of the schools programme to date has been overwhelmingly positive.