National Grid’s partnership and volunteering efforts with Special Olympics Great Britain to help organise and host last summer’s SOGB National Summer Games in Bath, scooped the “Best Single Project” prize in the Third Sector Business Charity Awards.
Over 1,000 hours were volunteered by National Grid staff to help 1,700 athletes compete in 12 sports at the games held in Bath. The volunteers undertook roles such as designing and building the athlete’s registration website, setting up and operating the games 24/7 control room, sourcing kit, providing expertise in health and safety, procurement, negotiation, IT and communications.
And it didn’t stop there. The utilities company also involved their suppliers who also supported the games by providing transport and logistics, promotional videos, an online shop which raised £7,000 and their own Gas Transmission employees embarked on a six-month project to design and build the Games’ cauldron which took centre stage at the opening ceremony.
Speaking after scooping the prize Kate Van Der Plank, National Grid’s Head of UK Community Investment, said: “This is the icing on the cake of what has been a fantastically valuable partnership for National Grid. The fact that all the staff involved in the 2013 summer games programme would recommend volunteering to their colleagues and 85% per cent wanted to get involved in some of our other volunteering initiatives, says it all really.
“Our relationship with SOGB, the way we brought in our supply chain and the way our staff felt that they had developed professionally as a result of their involvement demonstrates that thinking a little bit outside the box can pay huge dividends both for the charity and the business.”
National Grid’s partnership with SOGB has been running for 6 years with over 800 staff involved in volunteering projects across the country. But last year’s National Summer Games required an extra special push to support SOGB’s 12 full-time staff to plan, organise and stage the event which is why it was submitted into the Best Single Project category.
SOGB Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics Great Britain, Karen Wallin, was also blown away by the recognition: “We are tremendously proud of the strong partnership we have built with National Grid and its employees over the past six years. Winning this award is a wonderful way to showcase just how they have made such a difference to our organisation and to publicly thank each and every volunteer for their commitment. Our National Summer Games in Bath last year would not have been such a success without their support from overseeing the awards ceremonies, to logistics, transport, accommodation and catering.
“We are very keen now to strengthen and grow the volunteering programme and we look forward to the continuing support of National Grid to ensure more success in the future!”