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Companies commend dream opportunity offered to staff

Companies commend dream opportunity offered to staff

HR Managers at a number of large UK companies say their employees are benefiting from a unique CSR opportunity, which is helping boost morale and disability awareness.

More than 70 employees from a range of organisations have taken part in Caudwell Children’s “Destination Dreams” scheme, which offers volunteers the chance to support children battling life threatening conditions on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Florida.

Each year the charity has seen an increased number of corporate volunteers taking up the opportunity to be part of Destination Dreams, which aims to help create precious memories for the children and their families.

Global banking group, Barclays PLC, is one company that has seen a number of people benefit from being involved in the initiative and actively promotes the volunteering opportunities to employees across the organisation.

A spokesperson from the Wealth & Investment Management division of Barclays said: “Volunteering on the Destination Dreams trip has been an extraordinary experience for many of our employees and something incredibly special for them to be part of.

Each year those involved return with an overwhelming feeling of achievement and pride. It really is a truly inspirational experience, which has an incredible impact on their professional and personal lives.”

The success of the scheme has led to many of their employees taking up places year on year.

For 2012 Caudwell Children want to offer the opportunity to more companies who wish to be involved and offer the opportunity to their staff to meet some of their CSR objectives.

Taking place in December, the charity hopes highlighting the exciting opportunity will encourage other organisations to roll out Destination Dreams as an experience for their staff.

Caudwell Children train each successful volunteer in disability awareness to help them understand what to expect and techniques that prove useful in all areas of life.

Lindsay Gibb, a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham, has been volunteering on Destination Dreams for two years. She said “The trip can seem really daunting, but the charity support you every step of the way beforehand and during the trip. As soon as you meet the families you realise there is nothing to be worried about.

The children and their families are just so incredibly grateful to have a helping hand and a friendly ear, you become part of the family.

It really is a privilege to share such precious memories with them and you come away with so much.”

Launched in 2007, the Destination Dreams initiative has helped more than 200 families enjoy the fully-supported trip, which provides a much needed break for families facing the trauma of their child’s life-limiting condition.

Supported by the volunteers, families all enjoy days out at DisneyWorld, Universal Studios and SeaWorld safe in the knowledge that there are a team of medical professionals there to help them should their child fall ill or need medical support.

Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive of Caudwell Children, said “Having volunteers support our Destination Dreams trip is crucial, it simply could not take place without them.

By partnering with companies who offer their staff these volunteering opportunities we can help provide a unique opportunity which benefits all of those involved. Staff become more motivated and aware of disability, and learn new skills, while companies are able to achieve some of the CSR objectives they already have in place.

Each year the feedback from our corporate volunteers is exceptionally positive, which is reflected in their wish to return year on year.

For 2012 we hope more companies will see the benefits Destination Dreams offers and will present the opportunity to their staff, helping the charity to continue making these dreams come true.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Caudwell Children and the Destination Dreams trip, as well as other corporate volunteering opportunities, should contact Julia Hayne at Caudwell Children on 600437 or email julia.hayne@caudwellchildren.com.

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