Esprit de corps, developing or maintaining high performing teams, or teams simply working together to maintain health and well being has never been more important. Government legislation and current H&SW guidance means that workers must continue to work from home where possible, for now. Our Covid compliant processes to enable teams to return to practical volunteering are ready for when group restrictions ease further. In the mean time, remote volunteering enables teams to work together towards a common purpose to retain that precious team bond. And there is always room for some competition!

Pre-Coronavirus, Lloyds Banking Group had embarked on a programme to enable colleagues to support remote communities where they did not have colleagues locally. The vision was simple, to enable individuals and teams to make a difference from wherever they are, geographically agnostic. As their volunteering partner we are excited about the difference that remote volunteering is making for teams and communities.

Teams can apply their professional and every day skills remotely to help charities take action to survive and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. A team of 100 colleagues can work together to provide remote interview experience to young people whose education has been severely disrupted; this can be combined with career networking and virtual work experience. A team can work together tackling the loneliness and isolation being experienced by the elderly and other community groups and extended through ongoing contributions by letter, phone or video conferencing. Colleagues can work together in a virtual classroom on programmes aligned to the national curriculum covering STEM, environmental, health & well-being, financial awareness and management. They can work together on a gift wrapping project creating gift boxes for key workers, or work on a campaign to identify land to plant the 1.2 billion trees our country needs.

Teams can collaborate to create a poster or marketing campaign to help a cancer charity. They can download an app that allows their phone to be used to process Covid-19 research while they sleep, or to be the eyes of a partially sighted person. They can worl collectively on a project to review retina images to research the link between retina lesions and diabetes. They can connect safely with deserving people in our community who need a helping hand through carefully managed coaching or mentoring, and create a team campaign to view camera footage from around the world to help researchers identify the creatures that triggered the recordings. Being apart does not mean we cannot work together to make a difference towards a cause in which we believe.