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Breakthroughs for positive community impact - celebrating our volunteers this Volunteers’ Week

28/05/21
 
 

Pfizer Global Site & Study Operations team, based in Sandwich, help out at Louie's Helping Hands in Margate, Kent.

This year has been unlike any other for communities right across the world and here in the UK. Pfizer has been playing a visible role in supporting the UK response to COVID-19, demonstrating our purpose to create breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.

 

Less visible perhaps, but also important to our Purpose are our colleague volunteers from across the organisation. This Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June), we celebrate them and all the hours they have given to charities and other not-for-profit organisations up and down the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all our lives, and Pfizer colleagues have really stepped up and stepped in to help out.

We have worked hard to find meaningful virtual volunteering opportunities for colleagues to give their time and expertise while working from home. We have created new partnerships, in line with our diversity and inclusion agenda, that enables hundreds of our colleagues to volunteer and collectively make a measurable impact on the charities and our community.

 

Showcasing two of our partnerships:

 

The Social Mobility Foundation

 

A partnership helping to improve social mobility.

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) aims to improve opportunities for social mobility for young people from low income backgrounds. The foundation aims to support students who have the academic ability to flourish in top universities and professions, but lack the encouragement, confidence or networks to achieve their goal.

Over 60 of our colleagues have been volunteering by mentoring, supporting SMFs recruitment success service, checking CVs and offering interview practice.

We are extremely grateful to Pfizer for the dedication shown by their employees who volunteer on our Aspiring Professionals Programme. This year, 40 Pfizer employees have mentored students from low-income backgrounds with bespoke careers advice and guidance; volunteers are hosting an event to give students an insight into the sector; and offering upcoming ad hoc support for undergraduates, including CV checking, application guidance and mock interviews. This work makes an enormous difference in the lives of young people who may not have considered a pharmaceutical career as a viable route, or had the networks in place to guide them there. As one of the first companies in the sector to partner with the Social Mobility Foundation, we appreciate Pfizer leading the way and showing their commitment to social mobility. ”

Sarah Atkinson, CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation

This is an important new partnership for us. It is vital that we open up our sector to innovative, diverse thinking and support young people around the country to seek out and find new career opportunities. Perhaps the most important step in a career is having the knowledge and awareness that an opportunity exists, next is having the confidence to go and grab the opportunity. As a mentor with the Aspiring Processionals Programme I want to spark an interest in the life sciences sector as an innovative and exciting place to work. I want to create  awareness of all the options available here and I want the students to have the confidence to find and realise their aspirations. For me, I am really looking forward to the fresh perspectives and new skills this mentoring programme will bring.”

Owen Marks, Pfizer UK volunteer
Clicksilver Connections with Business in the Community

 

A partnership to tackle social isolation and the digital divide.

Clicksilver Connections was set up to respond to the digital needs of those feeling isolated during the Coronavirus pandemic by offering free digital help for anyone who needs it.

The programme allows participants access to four weeks of one to one mentoring with a business professional who has volunteered their time to support. Over the last two years, we’ve had an opportunity for 240 of our colleagues to volunteer. So far, digital confidence among individuals taking part in the programme increased from 23% to 74% and feelings of social isolation reduced from 62% to 27% of respondents.

“I’m not a technical man… with Seema’s help, I managed to Skype my sister in America. She’s helped me tremendously. It was an enjoyable time for both of us.”

Robin, Clicksilver Connections participant

"It was a very satisfying and rewarding experience as I could see how much the call meant to Robin. For four weeks, I put my work aside during these sessions and focused on how I could help Robin. Over Zoom meetings, we set up his new laptop, connected his printer to the computer and set up Skype so he could communicate again with his family. As much as the technical help, I know he really appreciated the chance to simply connect to someone and have a chat. If you want to volunteer, you don’t have to be an expert, you just need to make some time to make a difference.”

Seema Patel, Pfizer UK volunteer

We have also continued to find ways to support in-person volunteering where we can do so safely and in line with Government guidance throughout the year.

Colleagues have volunteered thousands of hours for charities close to their hearts, as well as supporting vaccination centres with St John Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service via NHS Volunteer Responders. We have also had 15 of our medics volunteer directly with the NHS during the crisis.

Along the way we have also worked with partners, such as:

  • Superhero Series, the UK’s only disability sports series
  • Age Concern to deliver Valentine’s day and Easter hampers to elderly people
  • The Bridge Project, on their Together Talks programme to befriend socially isolated adults

Volunteering time and expertise is a critical part of our culture at Pfizer. We provide colleagues with 5 days paid volunteering leave each year. Looking ahead, we have some really exciting programmes and partnerships that will have positive impact and help us to building back better from the pandemic.

In partnership with the non-profit community, we are proud to be bridging and sparking connections, breaking down barriers to better health and wellbeing, and improving people’s lives in our communities.

 

Are you a charity and looking for volunteers? Feel free to get in touch.

 

Related articles:

 

We passionately believe in using our people and resources to make a positive impact in the communities in which we work; each year, our colleagues are able to take up to five days of volunteering.

 

Pfizer announces its support of the 2019 Superhero Tri and Winter Wonderwheels mass-participation events, part of the Superhero Series powered by Marvel and founded by Paralympian Sophia Warner.

 

We're proud to be part of an industry that changes people's lives for the better - but our contribution to UK society goes beyond our medicines, products and vaccines.

 

PP-PFE-GBR-3673 / June 2021