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Make A Difference days and ESG at Cirrus

Here at Cirrus, our culture embraces Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2020, the company won the CSR award at the Comms National Awards. This award recognises organisations that embrace CSR in a highly positive manner. We have now developed upon this initiative and this year have implemented MAD (Make A Difference) Days.

The overall aim is to make Cirrus an exciting and positive place to work. We are striving to be progressive in our policies and ensure that everything links back to our culture of ‘Freedom and Responsibility’. Post- pandemic, we want to make sure staff feel supported and have a healthy work-life balance. This initiative goes hand in hand with our new Unlimited Time Off policy which is proving to be a popular benefit. As a customer experience business, we live by: Happy People = Happy Customers!

These MAD days offer staff the opportunity to give their time to an organisation or charity of their choice. Staff are passionate about a range of issues and as a result the causes have been varied; from collecting money for MacMillan, helping at Ukrainian donation centres, working in an animal rescue centre, giving time at a school, volunteering at a local library to help up-skill the public, and refurbishing and donating laptops. Two large groups also got together and volunteered at See Ability, where they painted sheds and fences and tidied up the communal garden of some of their accommodation.

What does this look like?

I, myself, chose to volunteer at Stripey Stork, a baby bank that was set up in 2013 by a mother who wanted to donate her baby clothes and equipment where they were most needed. I have followed them for some time and so jumped at the opportunity to spend a day there and bring collected donations along with me. It has now grown to be the referral centre for schools, health visitors, social workers, family centres and women’s shelters in the Surrey area, promoting ‘local families helping local families.’ Most importantly, Stripey Stork prides itself on passing on items in great condition so families feel as if they are receiving gifts rather than a handout.

Cirrus’s General Manager, Nikki, came with me and we were charged with creating school bags for junior-aged children, which contained paper, pencils, colouring pens, word search games and pencil cases, we also sorted, cleaned and replaced batteries in donated toys – all ready to go out to families in need. We received such a warm welcome from regular and new volunteers who we were working alongside, and we were even lucky enough to be there on the day they had won an award from Surrey Choices, recognising their volunteering partnership too which meant a tea break in the sunshine!

Not only are staff encouraged to donate their time to their chosen causes but are also supported in taking part in other charity pursuits. In May, a small team took part in the Jurassic Coast 25 km Challenge as ‘Cirrus Response Team Awesome’, raising money for Alzheimer’s Society. Those that did not take part in the physical challenge were there in spirit via the Company’s WhatsApp group, encouraging and cheering them on throughout the day.

It’s a privilege to work for a company who actively encourage staff to go out and make a difference. Not only this, but it is actively promoted internally in board reports, social media posts and town halls; the buy-in from senior managers leading the way encourages everyone to take part and not just talk about it!

Keep up the MAD-ness!

Written by Rhian Filbey, People Operations Manager