Energy firm to pay staff to volunteer for charity

By Angie Brown
BBC Scotland News

Published
image copyrightMichael Divers
image captionMichael Divers ran his first marathon-distance last year through the streets of Glasgow for charity

A Scottish energy company is giving its staff two paid days off a year to do charity work.

Scottish Power said its 5,500 staff could pick a charity of their choice.

It is also encouraging employees to apply to be among the 1,000 volunteers needed to help the COP26 United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow in November.

The energy firm was recently unveiled as a principal partner of the United Nations climate change conference.

Michael Divers, 31, from Glasgow, said he applied for the scheme as he wanted to help a mental health charity.

He said: "Everyone has taken a beating mentally since the pandemic started. My friends say they have been finding it tough, some lost their jobs and others were furloughed or are having to work from home.

"My girlfriend has been working from home and she has found it hard to get a work life balance as work has encroached on her personal time."

image copyrightMichael Divers

He added: "I too have felt anxiety since the pandemic started.

"So I want to help encourage people to speak about it and to raise awareness of the mental health problems we all have been experiencing."

Mr Divers ran his first marathon last year after training during the first lockdown and raised £1,000 for mental health charity SAMH.

Now he wants to use his two days to volunteer at a community mental health project.

Sheila Duncan, Scottish Power HR director, said: "The pandemic has hit home the value and importance to be gained from helping those in need.

"As a large organisation, we're in the fortunate position that we're able to help."

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