The team from Dale Underwriting Partners: (Back row left to right) Andrew Bruce, Carol McCarthy, Wayne Carpenter, Brenda Parsons. (Front row left to right) Chris Apps, James Brook, Lucy Barrett, Thomas Ottewill. Team member not in photo, Richard Appleton.

February 2018 Volunteer of the Month

ELBA’s Volunteer(s) of the Month for February 2018 are James Brooke and Carol McCarthy, of Dale Underwriting Partners, nominated for their combined work organising a team challenge at John Scurr Primary School. Working together, they managed to select the school project, organise a site visit and recruit volunteers in record timing for this event (which was also their very first team challenge!). As such, they are much deserved joint winners – a first time for ELBA’s VOTM!

John Scurr Primary School is a vibrant nursery and primary school in Tower Hamlets that enjoys its central location between the Mile End Road and Bethnal Green Gardens. The school is situated within the heart of and serves the families living within the communities of Stepney Green, Bethnal Green and Whitechapel. Outdoor learning and the use of the garden is a critical part of the learning of children at the school. As schools’ budgets are ever restricted, any refurbishments to the green space and improvements to the indoor environment for children, are extremely limited. In February a team from Dale Underwriting, as apart of the ‘Lloyd’s Community Programme’, worked on revamping the schools green house and indoor space to provide more space for learning in the environment and a more welcoming area indoors with some painting of some much needed space! Carol and James’s organisation, both before and during the event, meant it was very smooth running and their continued enthusiasm & leadership added to a very enjoyable day!

We caught up with Carol and James to find out about their volunteering experience:

1) Why did you volunteer? 

Our Company, Dale Underwriting Partners is a Lloyd’s Syndicate which began writing business in 2014. We are a small company based in the City, currently employing 38 members of staff. We are very keen to give something back to the local community, so we set up a Charity Committee last year to look into ways we could do this. The Committee sent a questionnaire to all staff asking what type of charities they would be most keen to get involved with and one of the areas that came out was to help small, local causes involving young people. We got in touch with ELBA through the Lloyd’s Community Programme and was sent a list of upcoming challenges/ volunteer days. One item on the list which appealed to us was to help with repairs and maintenance at a local primary school.

2) What did you gain from your volunteering experience?     

The day was a great way to bring staff together who do not necessarily work closely together on a day-to-day basis. It was therefore really good from a Team Building point of view and, despite the bad weather on the day, we all had a lot of fun. It was really nice to see the tangible change our efforts made during the day, and to know that the work we carried out at the school would have a positive impact for the children – a very worthwhile and rewarding day for us.

3) Would you recommend volunteering to a colleague and if so then why?    

Yes, we would definitely recommend volunteering to our colleagues for the benefits it brings to both sides. The volunteers obtain a real sense of achievement, and a knowledge that their efforts will make a difference. In fact, we have planned several further volunteering days through ELBA for our remaining colleagues so that, by the end of March, everyone would have had some time out of the office to help with these great causes. We are sure they will enjoy their experiences as much as we did.

A huge thank you to Carol and James, for their enthusiasm and brilliant effort.

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