In the community volunteering

Volunteering at EY is on the rise and we sat down with our very own community volunteers to see how they are creating a better working world.

Benjamin Westby, Consultant, Advisory, Risk FSO, Norway

Benjamin volunteered with Homework Help, in collaboration with the Oslo education agency and Ulsrud Secondary School in 2012.

“The goal of the initiative was to improve learning outcomes in one of Oslo’s lowest ranked schools in terms of grades. The experience has improved my ability to explain complicated topics in a way that is easy to understand. It has been a fun experience and an opportunity to get to know enthusiastic and positive young people from many cultures and backgrounds. Additionally, I’ve had a much needed brush up on my general knowledge for trivial pursuit.”

Simon Günther, Advisory FAAS, Advisory, Netherlands

EY4EY is an initiative which offers free Dutch language courses to international colleagues in the Netherlands, they get in touch with the Dutch culture and environment.

“In cooperation with Corporate Social Responsibility Netherlands, I was involved in founding the initiative EY4EY. For over a year now I have been helping to organize the Dutch language courses and culture workshops for international employees. Being an international myself, it makes me very happy to see that we have successfully helped many other international colleagues learn Dutch. Seeing the students’ excitement makes me realize how important it is for people to integrate into the Dutch society.”

Victoria Armitage, Manager, IT Risk Assurance, Ireland

Victoria volunteers with a local primary school which is included in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) action plan, within disadvantaged communities in Ireland. EY volunteers assist in Shared Reading and maths activities with the students on a weekly basis and get involved in various activities such as the school sports day, Pancake Day and Lego building.

“Having the opportunity to get involved in activities that are not directly correlated to your work, allows you to gain a variety of experiences and insight into other people, their backgrounds and cultures. Volunteering also allows you to build your networks outside of work and in some cases true friendships can be formed. Both of these I can attest to through my involvement in volunteering projects, both inside and outside of work.”

Petra Karpen, Director, Financial Services Assurance, Luxembourg

Petra volunteered through the EY Luxembourg Marketing Team to support and raise funds for SOSVE. The organisation raises awareness of those in need, especially the children, in countries such as Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal and Syria.

“I have supported SOSVE over the years at various occasions. I have learned a lot and have in particular come away with the knowledge that while donations are fantastic, it is also worthwhile investing time and taking the opportunity to support such initiatives personally. Each effort counts and even the smallest contribution helps towards making this world a better place.”

Joanna Kupczak, Senior Consultant, Assurance Global Financial Services, Poland

Joanna volunteers through Szlachetna Paczka, a project established to provide aid to struggling families during the Christmas holidays. Volunteers visit the families to ask what they need, then give them a Christmas box containing the gifts wrapped up like presents.

“My colleagues and I have done this for the fifth time in a row, and every time I admire how many people join to help. Last year there were 50 of us! A magical personal experience is that two years ago we helped an 80-year-old woman who I gained a close bond with. She died last year and her two cats are now living with me. The possibility to contribute to making people’s lives better, makes our lives meaningful.”