Time2Give is a Cisco employee benefit that encourages their staff’s passion for community service, by allowing them to take up to 10 paid days per year to give their time to any cause that is important to them.
Since Healthcare Communications was acquired by Cisco is 2021, our staff have been making excellent use of this offering by getting involved with local charities around the UK. Here’s some of their stories!
Lucy Cheseldine, Digital Project Manager
I volunteer for Spaniel Aid UK with my Time2Give (and also outside of this too), which is a charity who specialise in the rescuing and rehoming of all types of spaniels from any background.
In October 2016, SAUK became a UK Registered Charity to help relieve the suffering of dogs who are abandoned or in need of care and attention. They support with rescuing, rehoming and fostering these dogs, and also treat and care for them when needed.
At the moment, there is the highest ever number of dogs being surrendered to rescues and every single one is full and struggling. SAUK rely on foster homes for all of their dogs and manage to save an amazing number.
I’m involved in the Foster Admin team where I arrange home checks for potential foster homes, of which more are always needed. I also help by completing home checks myself if they are local to me and have been involved in helping transport dogs to their new foster homes. It’s such a rewarding charity to be a part of, and they are doing such important work, so I’m truly grateful to have the extra time from work to support where I can.
If you’d like to find out more, donate or get involved visit their website at spanielaid.co.uk.
Lesley Lloyd, Product Engagement Manager
When I had finished my cancer treatment, I knew I wanted to do something to both give back to the NHS and the associated network that had supported me through diagnosis and treatment, but also to give a voice to the patient; something that is often forgotten about. When I contacted Macmillan to offer my support, I was asked to talk to their nurse practitioners as they went through training, to give them the patients perspective of what they were going through.
The feeling I had as I walked away from that first session was amazing. I knew that at least one person in the room would do something slightly different when interacting with a cancer patient which would result in them feeling better about themselves, their situation, or their outcome. It doesn’t get much better than that! So, the sessions continued, and previously I had to fit delivering my presentations in between work meetings or use annual leave to take the time off.
However, since my company’s acquisition by Cisco, I can now use the Time2Give benefit which allows me to take this time off separately from my annual leave and be fully ‘in the room’ with no distractions. I use this time to fully commit myself to supporting such a great band of health professionals who are so key to helping patients dealing with cancer.
It means so much knowing I am making a small difference. But if we all give a little, it becomes a lot.
To see what Macmillan volunteering opportunities there are near you, visit volunteering.macmillan.org.uk.
Jamie Carroll, Lead Software Engineer
When I found out about Time2Give, I wanted to get involved with the environment and protection of animals as these are both really important to me, so I volunteered for two charities.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust – This charity is dedicated to helping protect and increase wildlife, improve our environment, and fight climate change. I help to maintain wildlife habitats, repair pathways open to the public and clear peatlands of trees to help wildlife and the environment as 30% of all soil carbon is stored in peatlands, but this only covers 3% of the worlds surface.
Lower Moss Wood Animal Rescue and Nature Reserve – This is an animal rescue centre who take in animals that are vulnerable or at-risk due to injury, with the aim to release them back to the wild once it’s safe. They also have resident animals who are no longer able to be released into the wild due to being domesticated prior to arrival. As they are a sanctuary, and not open to the public, all their funds are from donations, and they really need all the help they can get. Whilst volunteering here I cleaned out the enclosures for dozens of vulnerable hedgehogs and birds, prepared meals and fed the rescued animals.
I love that I have so much time to give to these causes. No matter how small it may feel, it makes a big difference to those in need of the help, and I look forward to spending more time volunteering in future.
Find out more about volunteering at either of these wonderful charities on their websites at cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/take-action and lowermosswood.com/volunteer/.
Jade Hindley, Marketing Executive
I volunteer at the Manchester centre of a UK charity called Smart Works, that supports unemployed women to secure employment through a dressing and coaching service designed to empower them with confidence. The women who come to Smart Works are usually referred from Job Centres, mental health charities, women’s refuges, homeless shelters, the prison service, care service and youth organisations.
Every client appointment begins with a bespoke dressing consultation carried out by a volunteer, to find a beautiful and high-quality interview outfit free of charge, which is theirs to keep. This is followed by a one-to-one coaching session with an expert volunteer coach, where each person receives tailored interview preparation. Once they get the job, they are invited back for a second dressing session where they can choose a capsule wardrobe suited to their new role.
I volunteer in the wardrobe department, where the team receive tonnes of donations from individuals and businesses every week. The work involves sorting donations, cleaning, organising stock and other tasks around the office to support with their day-to-day activities, as well as their events and sales. It’s such an incredibly powerful and empowering charity to be a part of, which is shown by their consistently positive feedback, and with an impressive 72% of clients securing a job within 1 month of their first appointment. I couldn’t find this time to help out without my Time2Give, thank you Cisco!
You can donate your high-quality workwear and accessories, or learn more about getting involved yourself at locations around the UK, here: smartworks.org.uk/support-us/join-our-community/.
Lois Vent, Digital Project Manager
I volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust which is a charity based in Cornwall for older people, the terminally ill and their pets. It is well known that having pets can positively impact people’s wellbeing and health, and for many older people living on their own, animals can provide essential comfort and companionship.
Cinnamon Trust is the only specialist national charity which seeks to relieve the anxieties, problems, and sometimes injustices, faced by elderly and unwell people and their pets. They offer support by organising dog walking volunteers, and also do short term fosters for cats and horses.
I volunteer regularly to walk an adorable little white Terrier called Tiggy for a lovely couple called Theo and Rodger who live in my village! I walk Tiggy with my two dogs, and also spend time with Rodger and Theo, who loves dogs. Unfortunately, Theo has Parkinson’s and cannot get out and about very much. I feel very lucky to have Time2Give from work, which gives me more time to spend with Tiggy, Theo and Rodger!
The charity is always looking for dog walking and short term foster volunteers nationwide. To find out more visit cinnamon.org.uk/volunteers/ .