EDF Energy launches The Pod’s Helping Hands campaign in support of #iwill 

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Blog by Darren Towers, Head of Campus Education, EDF Energy, 19 May 2015 At EDF Energy, we recognise the value and skills that volunteering can bring to the people involved and to their communities. To encourage more young people to take social action, this month we launched a new campaign on our education programme, The Pod. The Pod’s ‘Helping Hands’ campaign is encouraging the 19,700 registered schools and groups to sign up and download free resources to help young people identify a local issue they care about, plan an activity to act on this, and then share their stories to inspire others. By taking part, we hope young people will make a positive difference to their local communities and develop valuable life skills to help them in their future careers. Despite only launching a few weeks ago, over 220 schools and groups have already signed up. Schools are already starting to blog about their plans on their school page on the Pod, as well as use the special Helping Hands Inspiration Board online (where our own team has a post on what they’ve done to help too!). Schools taking part are free to decide what volunteering activities they do. The Pod provides inspiration and materials to facilitate this including a downloadable resources starter presentation (to introduce the topic of volunteering and why it’s important); a ‘top tips for getting started’ factsheet; a sample survey for students to use in identifying a cause to tackle and much more. There’s a free resource pack for the first 500 schools to sign up and a prize draw for schools to win a visit from one of Britain’s inspirational Paralympic athletes. Students who report back on their volunteering will also be rewarded with certificates and a medal for their school. It’s early days, but reaction has been encouraging. One parent said: “This is such a brilliant idea – I LOVE it! I’ve been thinking a lot about all these issues recently in my own community as there are so many things in the village where ‘helping hands’ are needed”. As a Pioneer Business working with Step Up To Serve, EDF Energy has pledged to support the campaign by engaging employees in volunteering, embedding volunteering in our apprentice programme, and better recognising volunteering experience in recruitment practice. The Pod’s ‘Helping Hands’ campaign draws on experience from our own employee volunteering programme, whereby employees get two days of work time each year to volunteer on causes they are passionate about. So, why not head on over to www.jointhepod.org. take a look, get inspired and see how your local school could make a difference too! About The Pod: Launched in 2008 and with over 19,700 schools and groups registered, The Pod now supports over 60% of UK schools on energy, science and sustainability. It runs national campaigns on energy, waste and science themes, providing free curriculum-linked resources (including assembly plans, lesson packs, activities, videos and games) for young people aged 4 to 14.

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