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Insights Cheers to Atkins' community volunteers

#GivingBack: How two days can make a difference

"Volunteering provides such a rewarding feeling, and you would be surprised how little of your time can mean so much to someone else's life. 
"So, when are you getting involved?"
—Agnes, Structural Engineer, Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group
image of Agnes and the Atkins team volunteering

Did you know our employees in the UK have two Volunteer Days a year to spend on charities close to their hearts? Here we catch up with Agnes, who recently pitched in to make a difference at local charity, Young Bristol. 

What do you do in Atkins?

I'm a Structural Engineer. Working at Atkins allows me to help different clients solve problems in their engineering endeavours. I have the opportunity to design places and spaces that make a positive impact on people and the environment. For example, I'm developing new engineering solutions that will contribute towards decarbonization on one of my current projects.
image of an Atkins employee digging
What are Volunteer Days?

Atkins has a strong #GivingBack Culture. On top of our annual leave, we can use our volunteer days to participate in fundraising activities, community works – the choice is ours. One of the organization's big focuses is getting young people excited about STEM Careers. This often throws up opportunities to get involved with young people in local charities. 

Why Young Bristol?

Young Bristol opens so many doors to young people in crisis. Many of these teenagers may have been exploited, abused or neglected. They can also experience mental health challenges and poverty or inequality because of their ethnicity, sexuality, disability or gender identity.

Young Bristol tackles this by helping every young person discover what they're capable of. It provides a safe place for them to meet and get involved in fun activities with other members of the community. 
image of an Atkins employee building a bench
How does this harmonize with Atkins' social values?

Atkins has worked very hard to be an inclusive employer. Diversity and inclusion have been proven to positively impact businesses, such as increasing innovation and productivity. As a foreign female engineer, I'm a clear example that if you want to achieve something, with the support of organizations such as Young Bristol and Atkins, you can do it!

What did you do on your Volunteer Day?

The whole Atkins team was highly energized. We had an incredible time getting to know the Young Bristol team and seeing the positive results at the end of the volunteering day. 

After doing some gardening and painting, we got stuck into converting an exterior area. We used our engineering skills to make the most of the centre's outdoor space, providing more seating and activity areas. The centre can now welcome and support more people. 

Many people in Bristol benefit from Young Bristol's great work, so giving back to them was incredible!

How did the experience make a difference to you?

We were all personally moved on the day, meeting the people behind Young Bristol and seeing what they do day-to-day. It made us want to get even more involved with this organization. Professionally it allowed us to put our minds together for a great cause. It helped us improve our communication skills as a group and get to know each other better. 

What are you (and the team) planning for your next volunteering project?

I believe I speak for everyone on the team when I say we all left looking forward to supporting Young Bristol again soon. We can't wait to help at some of their other centres. We also want to continue growing our volunteering team in Atkins to support more local charities. 
image of an Atkins employee tending to a wall
Any advice on how to get started as a volunteer?

Go online and look for a cause that means something to you personally. There are millions of organizations out there that would be thrilled to have your support. Just get in touch, and I am sure they will have plenty of ideas for you to join them. Talk to your friends and colleagues and invite them along for the adventure!

It was incredibly fulfilling to get involved with an amazing charity like Young Bristol. 

Volunteer Days are just one of our flexible benefits, find out more here.