Cornwall-based medical moulding specialist Polymermedics decided to give its 50 employees the opportunity earn an extra day’s paid leave by volunteering at a charity of their choice.
This was certainly not the first time the company took part in charity, yet it was pretty unusual for a moulder of this size to pay employees to take time off supporting their own favourite cause.
“Supporting our community is an important part of our team building and collaboration practices at Polymermedics”
By giving staff the freedom to choose their own charity, Neil Skyba hopes Polymermedics will encourage others to follow suit, and reap the benefits of charitable work. He explained: “This isn’t only a nice gesture, it also makes business sense – charity brings people together. Cooperation and support are key cores of our team building practises at Polymermedics.”
The move builds upon Polymermedics’ strong track record of using charity work to build a team ethos and learn new skills. In 2014, the company devoted two days to renovating the nearby Polkerris scout hut as a charitable team exercise.
Neil himself is a life-long friend to charity. Once he went as far as putting himself in the Bodmin Jail to raise ‘bail money’ for a local children’s hospice.
“This boost in morale is not only contagious, but also brings a significant value to the community”
Neil said: “We’ve done a lot of brilliant work in supporting the local community, but this is the first time that our staff was given the freedom to choose a cause of their liking, and join it during the working hours. I believe this experience will spread charity around and build a better and stronger community. This boost in morale is not only contagious, but also brings a significant value to the community”
In order for staff to take their paid leave, volunteering must take place at a registered and recognised charity. An appropriate risk assessment will also be completed to ensure team members are always safe.
“There is no reason to stop, we will only go forward”
Looking into the future, Neil said: “If all goes smoothly, we’ll definitely be putting our heads together soon to plan the next big charity project. We try to go the extra mile to build our team spirit, and if it helps everyone feel better about their work, then there is no reason to stop, we will only go forward”.