Four Pfizer volunteers visited the Oarsome Chance Apex Centre in Havant for a day last month to offer valuable help on our projects.

Brokered by support organisation Community First and supported and released by the Pfizer company, employees can choose from a number of suggested local projects and charities to help, by giving a day of their time. As part of the Pfizer "Step up and Volunteer" programme employees are supported to give up to five days of paid leave to either support a charity or cause close to their heart, work with organisations local to their UK sites or fund-raise for those in need. The company’s Havant branch support ten such visits to local projects by their staff annually and in 2016 Pfizer staff gave 3000 hours of volunteer time nationally.

The four volunteers that chose to come to Oarsome Chance gave us fantastic help, for which we are very grateful. They busied themselves with sanding and stripping preparation on the hull of our donated double scull rowing boat 'Charlie' and went on to strip down donated bikes ready to be recycled / reassembled by our students in our new Bike Works project being trailed at the Apex centre.

And they found time, as a bit of fun with some of our students, to take part in an Oarsome Chance two minute rowing challenge and Martin at 603 metres joined the elite band of our 600+ club!

The volunteers came from a range of departments within Pfizer and they all provided shining examples to our young people of career progression pathways within a big company – warehousing, shipping and logistics, and research were all divisions represented and for our post 16 students meeting role models who had forged successful careers at Pfizer, but not all of whom had achieved high academic qualifications at school, is very valuable.

Sincere thanks to Pfizer volunteers Mary Ann, Aidy, Clint and Martin and to Pfizer, for donating their time and efforts and we look forward to engaging with them again in the future.

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Volunteer help is vital to help sustain our projects and if you, or your company, are interested in exploring volunteering opportunities with Oarsome Chance we’d be delighted to hear from you – send an email to [email protected] or call 01963 250145.