At Starling, all 1850 of our employees have an optional 16 hours of extra paid leave each year for volunteering. Team members can share their skills or passions in almost any way that benefits others, whether that’s in a school or through a charity.
Here, we speak to three team members about how they use their Starling volunteering hours.
Becky Jay, Business Specialist
“I remember seeing the volunteering hours in the job description and thinking it was something I really wanted to do,” says Becky Jay (pictured above). She joined Starling in September 2020. In 2021, Becky, 30, spent two days volunteering for RORO (Ride Out Ride On), a Bristol-based charity that helps people with mobility-impacting factors, such as a disability or long term health conditions, enjoy the freedom and fun of cycling.
“They have adapted bikes, where you have one volunteer rider at the back and the client riding at the front. A bit like a tandem but more comfortable. The steering is controlled from the rear and the client can add power through the pedals if they want.”
For both days, which were a month apart, she cycled with a woman who had a horse riding accident that impacted her physical mobility and heightened her anxiety. “We went down the Bristol footpath to Bath, we had a whole day out,” she says.
“Being able to share my love of cycling with someone who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do that was fantastic. I also had a conversation with someone I otherwise wouldn’t have crossed paths with.”
Gurmokh Sangha, Database Administrator
“I think coding is as essential as basic Maths and English - it’s such a useful skill,” says Gurmokh Sangha.
Gurmokh, 46, runs the Coding Club at his children’s primary school near Exeter. This involves guiding around ten children between the ages of 8-10. He uses his Starling volunteering hours to contribute to this commitment.
“We follow tutorials and the kids can make their own games on Scratch,” he says. Scratch is a popular coding resource for kids. “One kid made a game that ran over three screens and involved three different levels, which for a 10-year-old isn’t bad.”