#StrongerTogether with Jennifer Kingston, Gas Networks Ireland

Gas Networks Ireland is one of the companies participating in the Business Impact Mapand its #strongertogether campaign.The interactive map launched today showcases what companies are doing for their local communities across the country and also shows the collective impact of the network. As we unveil the impact achieved by the participating companies in 2017 we take the opportunity to hear from the volunteers that make this impact a reality.

As part of the #StrongerTogether campaign, Jennifer Kingston from Gas Networks Ireland shares her thoughts on volunteering.

Tell us about your volunteering experience…

My name is Jennifer Kingston and I coordinate the Skills @ Work programme on behalf of Gas Networks Ireland for Business in the Community working with the students, teachers and principal of Nagle Community School over the past 4 years.

Why did you decide to take part and volunteer?

I have over 10 years of voluntary experience working within the youth and community sector. I enjoy meeting different people in this area from students, teachers, principals, new colleagues and personnel within Business in the Community. I enjoy using my skills and knowledge to benefit young people and to show them how to reach their goals. It’s also a WIN / WIN for all partnerships concerned as with new challenges comes learning and building relationships within the community we work in.

What did you enjoy from the experience?

I enjoy organising and planning the program, using tools such as role plays, video clips, employee’s professional experience and using these skill sets to show young people what can be achieved once they have completed their leaving certificate. There are so many choices nowadays; such as choosing colleges, plc courses, apprenticeships, internships, work experience and in the long-term they may like to come back and work within our company in the future! It is also great to have the feedback delivered by students at the end of each year as they give their views and opinions and then I use this information to enhance the following year’s program.

What would you say to a colleague who hasn’t volunteered before to encourage him/her to give it a go?

I would advise colleagues to give of their time to encourage the future generation, and also to gain from this experience by learning new skills and taking a step out of the comfort zone! There are lots of different volunteering opportunities on offer in Gas Networks Ireland, I really like volunteering for Skills @ Work as it’s quite flexible and each session is only an hour or so long.

How important is it to you that the company you work for shares your values and facilitates you to undertake volunteering activities as part of your role?

Gas Networks Ireland has a great history of giving back to the community and it is of great importance that I am supported by the company to volunteer. As the company allows me to make a difference, outwardly displaying we are part of a community, taking on a new challenge and bringing our company’s values to life – collaborating, performing, customer service, safety and integrity.

Featured in the pictured above is Jennifer Kingston, Gas Networks Ireland, on the left and Diane Beckingham, BITCI, on the right celebrating the 10 relationship with Nagle College last year.

Visit the Business Impact Map to see the impact that Gas Networks Ireland and other member companies and their employees have across Ireland.

Find out more about CSR and Sustainability at Gas Networks Ireland.

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