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Volunteering at Xaar

Hear from our volunteers

We support volunteering here at Xaar and offer you time off to volunteer. This will help you to get involved in your community and additionally assist you to develop new skills and hone existing ones. With this in mind, we’ll support your voluntary work/activities by providing ‘holiday matching’ of up to two and a half days a year, enabling you to spend up to 5 days per year volunteering.

Name: Andy Smith

Type of volunteering: I volunteer as one of the team of newly trained beekeepers who look after our Xaar Bees.

Why: The bees were introduced to the Huntingdon site as part of our commitment to enhancing local biodiversity, we have 2 hives and the group of volunteers are being trained to look after them on a rota basis. I thought this would be an interesting and fulfilling opportunity as I am hoping to carry this on eventually at home in the future. it was something we liked to do as a family when my children were younger.

Name: Neil Ross

Type of volunteering: I help with Xaar STEM Club activities on Wed afternoons, as part of my Group Sustainability role I run the bee keeping courses and am the key contact for Break charity events and interactions. I also continue to do weed killing for a Glasgow Scout Group despite their hall being 350 miles north of where I work…

Why: For all of the activities the key is to offer the participants an experience that they would not have been able to have, for the P6 pupils that’s STEM based builds, for the prospective bee keepers that’s working with our bees and potentially learning how to keep their own hives in the future. With Break we have fire walked, jumped out of planes, baked cakes and have lots more planned. It’s a huge effort but for the charity the money we have raised, and the match funding that Xaar Group is donating is making a massive difference – so that’s a huge motivator for me.

Name: Kirsty Brearley

Type of volunteering: The Salvation Army – While I was on maternity leave I supported with the over 60s lunch club, the toddler group and the feeding program (providing cooked meals to those who need them), since returning to work from maternity leave I have continued to support these through helping to plan activities and finding resources for the toddler group and of course continuing to support the feeding program (as this is in the evening outside work hours). At Christmas we did 175 toy & food parcels and raise money to support this through playing carols with the brass band.  I also take part in the Imagineering - supporting the after school club that runs 3-4pm every week during term time.

Why: I volunteer to give something back to the community, making a positive difference in the world where I can, looking after others.

Name: Helen Kirby

Type of volunteering: STEM Ambassador activities: Dedicated to improving young people’s learning, future education and career opportunities (primary and secondary students) via the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in an interactive and real world approach linked to the school curriculum.

  • Currently I run a weekly after school “Imagineering” Club for yr6 (10 year olds) at a local primary school with the dedicated support from another 5 Xaar employees.
  • Over the years I have been involved in many other STEM events from running projects with local 6th form students, judging projects at national STEM award events, supporting STEM activity days run at local schools, to name a few.

Why: Broadening the understanding children have of what a career in STEM subjects could be, and being able to help understand the real world link to the subjects covered at school is an honour.  Sparking an interest in a subject that would otherwise have been overlooked by an interactive and hands on approach gives a real a buzz, hopefully to the students as well as to me!  It is good fun for the students and for me and I just enjoy trying to demonstrate the huge variety of choice there is when considering a future in STEM.

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