International Volunteering Day
December 16, 2016
Looking back on 2016, the year of Boeing’s centenary, there is one aspect of our partnership with the UK that has developed significantly, and that is the community work activated with local charity partners as part of Boeing’s Global Corporate Citizenship strategy. The support Boeing provides to non-profit partners goes beyond the joint community programmes and encompasses employee volunteering and engagement across a wide range of initiatives. The 5th December marked International Volunteering Day and was a chance to reflect on the different ways in which Boeing employees have contributed volunteering hours to a number of charitable initiatives this year.
In the UK, Boeing has proudly partnered with The Prince’s Trust for over 10 years and shares in the belief that that every young person should have the chance to succeed. Over the past decade Boeing has supported its Achieve Programme, a personal development scheme aimed at young people aged 13 to 19 at risk of underachievement or exclusion from school, and in 2016 Boeing supported the second year of The Trust’s ‘Get Started with Product Design’ course at the AMRC. This year, 24 young people completed the course which helps develop young people’s essential skills over five days whilst experiencing of a range of cutting-edge design and manufacturing techniques.
Boeing employees have supported The Prince’s Trust in its 40th anniversary year in a number of new ways this year, including volunteering for its Million Makers Corporate Challenge. Boeing’s Million Makers team, The Boeing Bulldogs, brought together a team of employees from sites across the UK who sold merchandise and organised a number of events, including a gala dinner and auction, with the aim of raising £100,000 in aid of The Trust. In October, more than 20 employees, sponsored by Boeing, took part in the 45 mile Palace to Palace bike ride to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust. The ride started at Buckingham Palace and ended at Windsor Castle and the group raised almost £3,000 for the charity.
Another charity that Boeing has supported for many years is the Air League. We have supported the Air League to offer gliding scholarships to inner city students since May 2012, and each year up to nine students are selected to participate in the gliding scholarships programme after passing a rigorous selection process. In 2013 Boeing and The Air League expanded the scholarship programme to include wounded veterans in collaboration with Aerobility, which provides flying lessons in specially modified aircraft that can accommodate wheelchairs and power-chairs.
In September, The Air League and Aerobility invited wounded, injured and sick former service men and woman and their families to celebrate their flying achievements and fly in vintage aircraft at the Museum of Army Flying in Middle Wallop, Wiltshire. Richard Pillans, Chief Test Pilot for Boeing Defence U.K, took part in the day by flying in in a Chinook and a support crew made up of nine Boeing employees. Mr. Pillans and the crew spent the day offering guided tours inside the Chinook and sharing their extensive knowledge of aviation with the enthusiastic attendees.
Since 2011 Boeing in the UK has supported the Earth Restoration Service (ERS); a non-profit organization that has a nationwide programme of initiatives to restore natural ecological habitats. Each year, Boeing teams up with the ERS to mark Earth Day. Boeing employees worldwide plan and participate in onsite and community activities to celebrate the day. This year, Earth Day was celebrated at nine UK sites and employees participated in onsite and external activities to celebrate and make a positive impact on our communities. 2016 was the biggest Earth Day yet for the UK, with over 100 volunteers helping local schools and pledging environmental leadership on site.
Boeing also supports STEMNET, with many employees becoming STEM Ambassadors in 2016 and volunteering to give talks and workshops at local schools and colleges to inspire young people to study STEM subjects. During the course of the year, all these projects have positively impacted hundreds of people and reached out to many more. The work Boeing does to support non-profit partners reflects some of the ways we as a company, and our employees, honour — and extend — the Boeing legacy by helping communities build a better future every day. The aim of these projects is to inspire others to take those small and large steps that lead to making a difference now, in our centenary year, and for generations to come.