1,200 Over 1,200 pupils have benefitted from work of our volunteers in 2008 So, being a Business Ambassador, what's that about? I help run business- related activities at high schools across the region with the help of North East EBP's. We go into schools and run various activities with anywhere from 10 to 200 pupils. My role in the sessions is to introduce myself ( where I work and what I do) and help run and facilitate the chosen activities. The last one I did was to give pupils an insight into working life and advice on getting a job by sharing my own experiences of working life with them. Tell us about some of the things you've done? ' Duck Production' is an entrepreneurial activity where children buy materials, produce paper ducks and sell them on. The group with the biggest profit wins – the kids love it. I've ran ' Real Game' too, turning kids into adults for the day. They find a job and learn to balance their finances. From the experience they realise they can afford more things as they earn more. It's great to show kids how the skills they learn will benefit them later in life. ' Careers Speed Dating' is another activity where I've been ' grilled' about my work experiences. It's great to reiterate to kids that their working life is not that far away. And come on then – what about the craziest one? Definitely being outdoors with a bunch of teenagers. A glorious day of team- building activities including a blindfold session and a zip- wire across a stream! Both were great fun, and true confidence builders. So why do you volunteer, and why should others? When I was at school I didn't benefit from these ' real world experiences' and if I had, I would've been better prepared. Schools are often so busy teaching pupils for exams they don't get time to prepare them for working life. I would encourage anybody to take part. Do it for the kids. But also it gives you an opportunity to get experience of presenting and leading others. When you work with children for the first time is when you realise if you have people skills. " Having now done it, I think it's been a great and very rewarding experience. Children need as much encouragement as possible and it's very touching to see children having a ' light- bulb moment'." Sage CSR Report 08 - Community23 Five minutes with an Educational Volunteer We take some time out to speak to Kenneth to understand what it means to him to volunteer in local schools.
24Sage CSR Report 08 - Community Investing time and effort Over the past year we've delivered 13 volunteer challenges in local communities - getting our hands dirty and our paint rollers wet to complete much needed work for a variety of groups and charities. Working with Business in the Community ( BiTC), we source and support challenges which have a positive impact on the communities we're part of. Why all the community volunteering? All 142 days of it? Not only is it priceless in terms of team building, it brings out talents we didn't even know our people had. Every inch of every project is a true challenge and the comments we get back from the people we help are always a nice end to a hard day's work. " If you volunteer in the community, expect to work hard and get mucky - there is no time for diva's when doing this. Most of all though, you'll have fun whilst doing it and it's very satisfying being able to help charities who spend their time helping others." Andrea, Daisy's Dream " I spent a day playing in the mud, which is always a thrill ( for me, anyway). It's good to give up some time to help our wider community, many people are in real need, and don't have the resources that can make a difference. The opportunity to meet new people in Sage was great too, the company is of a size now where it's not always easy to meet people from different areas of the business." Stuart, Dilston College " I got a great sense of achievement, teamwork and satisfaction at having helped restore Exhibition Park to it's former glories. It's a place I visited loads as a kid so it was good to put something back into it." Karen, Exhibition Park This year saw 7 of our volunteers team up with 5 young people from Kids Kabin, and a team from BiTC to do their best impression of ' changing rooms' on a stables at the charitable organisation Stepney Banks in Newcastle Take 3 minutes out here to watch their story. Play video