Staff from Newcastle Building Society (NBS) are sharing their experiences after volunteering for more than 10,000 hours ahead of Volunteers’ Week 2024.

As the UK gears up for the annual celebration of citizen contributions from June 3, NBS - which has a branch in Hexham - has been reflecting on its successful volunteering culture.

With all colleagues given two paid volunteering days a year, the society's team dedicated more than 1,502 working days to their communities in 2023.

Donna Stubbs, community manager at the Newcastle Building Society, is the driving force behind the society's volunteering strategy.

Hexham Courant: NBS colleagues volunteering during Earth Day 2024NBS colleagues volunteering during Earth Day 2024 (Image: Newcastle Building Society)

Donna uses volunteering as a platform to foster relationships between charities and the Newcastle Building Society.

Donna said: "One of the best things about volunteering is that it’s for everyone.

"The range of volunteering opportunities that people can get involved in is so broad, and you can find a good cause to support based on your interests, skills and experience."

This mutually beneficial relationship extends to the volunteers involved.

According to research, absorption in acts of service can improve self-esteem, confidence, an overall sense of value, and offer valuable work experience.

Donna added: "So often I hear from colleagues that they didn’t fully understand how important the services are that charities are providing.

"They’re surprised to see the wide range of individuals from all walks of life that access support from these charities and they come back with a better awareness of the key challenges at play within our communities."

Hexham Courant: Newcastle Building Society volunteers lending time at a YMCA allotmentNewcastle Building Society volunteers lending time at a YMCA allotment (Image: Newcastle Building Society)

Going forward, NBS, according to Donna, aims to make its impact more tangible by focusing on key areas such as food poverty, work and opportunity, debt management, homelessness and insecure housing, environment and sustainability.

One highlight is NBS's partnership with the YMCA North Tyneside.

With NBS colleagues having volunteered their time and skills on many YMCA projects, the relationship proves mutually beneficial.

Among other notable volunteer efforts in 2023, IT colleagues from the Society supported Newcastle United Foundation in delivering science and engineering workshops for local schoolchildren, inspiring them to explore digital and tech careers.