ESS Unites With Volunteering Charity to Improve Community Connections

19 March 2024

On 19th March, Compass One, which brings together the specialist expertise of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s ESS, Healthcare and One Retail sectors, announces its first long-term charity partnership, with leading national volunteering charity Royal Voluntary Service.

In line with the charity’s work across Britain, the partnership aims to support people’s health, social interaction and connections within their communities. The partnership will include rewarding employee volunteering programmes and fundraising activities.

Compass One has pledged to give at least 5,000 hours of staff volunteer time annually to support the work Royal Voluntary Service does to help the NHS and to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of vulnerable people within wider communities. Compass One colleagues will be encouraged to use the company’s “Volunteer Day” allowance and help out when they can. People and teams can take on tasks such as Hospital Trolley services, the Calls with Care telephone companionship service, offering help in times of emergency and supporting social clubs, where people can meet and take on activities such as cooking, playing games and playing musical instruments.

The company has also committed to raising funds to support Royal Voluntary Service to continue mobilising volunteers to provide their vital services.

The partnership comes at a time when Royal Voluntary Service is exploring in depth, the future of corporate volunteering, and several members of the Compass One senior leadership team attended a recent thought leadership forum led by the charity, to discuss the challenges and value of corporate volunteering strategies.

To commence the partnership and raise awareness of Royal Voluntary Service’s work amongst staff, Compass One will be hosting internal fundraising events at its Birmingham and Chertsey headquarters in the coming months. Compass One will be utilising its platforms to help the charity raise awareness of the importance of volunteering.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “I’m excited that we’ll be partnering with Compass One to support the communities we both operate in. Funds raised will help enable our incredible volunteers to impact the lives of even more people, and we look forward to seeing Compass colleagues reap the many benefits of volunteering for themselves too. I’m confident that together we will create positive social value.”

Mark Webster, Managing Director – Compass One said: “Across Compass One, we have thousands of amazing people working for us and I am excited about how we can work together, to help many more people have a brighter future. We are looking forward to contributing time, resources and funds – creating true value to the communities we operate in and support.”

Russell Blake, Managing Director – Healthcare – Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Royal Voluntary Service and Compass are well aligned in values and both organisations started their foundations in World War II. Fast forward to today and the values of keeping people safe and well remain, creating a common purpose that joins both organisations and making this a great partnership. I look forward to supporting Royal Voluntary Service in the valuable work that they do.”

Jess Payne, Director of Social Value - Compass One added: “We are really excited to join forces with Royal Voluntary Service, which mobilises volunteers to support people in need and the NHS. Delivering social value is important to us and this partnership will support our strategy, which is aligned to Compass’ wider Social Promise.”

In 2022, Compass Group UK & Ireland launched its “Our Social Promise” commitment, which aims to positively impact the lives of one million people from both within and outside the organisation, by 2030. The company is working to enhance people's opportunities and change lives through initiatives such as community and charitable engagement.

To find out more about the work of Royal Voluntary Service, visit