QA to engage employees in regular volunteering as part of new charity partnership with Coram Beanstalk
QA – the UK's leading IT training provider – has announced that as part of its new charity partnership with national reading charity, Coram Beanstalk, it will be giving staff the opportunity to volunteer regularly during work hours to support children with reading at local primary schools across the country.
As part of the newly-launched partnership, QA would like to see around 10% of its workforce volunteering with Coram Beanstalk on a regular basis. QA will also aim to raise at least £50,000 during the course of the next 12 months to help the charity continue to expand its vital work.
Coram Beanstalk is a national children’s reading charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one support to children aged 3 – 13 years old who have fallen behind with their reading levels and confidence. One in four children across the UK leave primary school without the skills to read, whilst 5.1 million adults are functionally illiterate. Disadvantaged children are particularly at risk of falling into a vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty, facing life-long social exclusion.
William Macpherson is CEO of QA: “If you fall behind in learning to read, you never catch up. Then almost every indicator of life success starts to turn against you. Poor reading causes poor academic performance. Poor performance means less job possibilities, in time lower earnings, a lower standard of living and, amazingly, worse health, lower scores for happiness and even lower life expectancy. Such a huge penalty, and yet such a simple thing to solve. Coram Beanstalk provide volunteers to schools to supplement the teachers’ efforts to help children read.”
Throughout the year-long charity partnership, staff whose job roles do not offer the flexibility to volunteer during work hours will have the opportunity to get involved in a range of fundraising activities across its 22 UK-wide training centres, as well as participate in challenge events on behalf of Coram Beanstalk and an all-company fundraiser. As part of the employee benefit, QA accommodate up to two days a year of volunteering for a charity of choice – this will continue - the regular volunteering for Coram Beanstalk will be in addition to the existing charity days.
William added: “For years at QA we have had staff who want to raise money for our chosen charity, and those who want to give their time. With Coram Beanstalk, for the first time, I think we can do both. Coram Beanstalk will potentially be able to match each of our training centres to local schools, so we can all really see the impact we are having. Each centre will be involved in raising money and, I hope, providing volunteers to help in a school near where our staff work.”
Ginny Lunn is Managing Director of Coram Beanstalk: "We are so delighted to have been chosen as QA's charity partner for 2019 and particularly excited about the potential to engage so many of their employees in regular volunteering with us. Businesses can play a key role in helping tackle the literacy gap through investing time and money in supporting a skilled future workforce. This is a partnership which will take a proactive approach in doing just that. By bringing together our expertise with theirs we can build a stronger future for the younger generation and create more opportunities to help them thrive.
“Not only will our new corporate volunteers be helping to boost literacy skills for children who have fallen behind with reading, but they will also benefit themselves. Having the opportunity to contribute beyond the confines of a conventional working life can bring a great sense of satisfaction and greater wellbeing to employees, and we are really looking forward to helping support that by providing meaningful volunteering roles to QA employees,” adds Ginny.
The partnership was launched at a primary school in Battersea where previous top QA fundraisers joined William and Ginny to celebrate the partnership and meet some of the children they will be helping to read throughout the partnership.
David Hollis is an Account Director at QA: “I’ve worked at QA for 14 years now and this has been one of the most inspiring opportunities I have been given. In my role at QA it’s particularly rewarding to be able to see people doing well in their careers supported by our training, and as a corporate volunteer with Coram Beanstalk I’ll get to help children at the very start of their education and help them to reach their full potential, so I’m really excited about the partnership and becoming a reading helper.”
Last year, over 3,700 dedicated Coram Beanstalk volunteers supported over 13,400 children in eight regions across England, working to target the most severe pockets of deprivation.