Investec Bank in the Channel Islands has made a three-year commitment to La Société Guernesiaise that will see staff from the Guernsey office donating time to the charity to help deliver some of its long-term projects in the Island.
So far this year’s volunteering has included a beach clean at Grande Havre Bay, land management and habitat restoration at Vale Pond Reserve and at Pre D’Enfer Nature Reserve and surveying ormers and crabs.
More recently staff raked the meadow at Jardin de Lorette, an important task as these reserves require a careful balance between allowing nature to thrive and prevent certain species from overtaking others. The resulting hay was taken to the Soil Farm and used for composting and mulching; some has already been used for their pumpkin patch.
The partnership with La Société is part of Investec’s commitment to live in society, not off it, which is core to the bank’s global sustainability vision. Staff were given the opportunity to nominate worthy charities and a shortlist of three was chosen by a panel. All three gave an in-house presentation to all staff who then voted for their favourite. La Société was the chosen charity.
Brendan Stewart, CEO of Investec Bank (Channel Islands) Limited, said: “We support several community and charity initiatives and events across the Channel Islands. La Société Guernesiaise fulfils a valuable role in both preserving and educating about Guernsey’s rich built and natural cultural heritage. It is important to us, as a business that has existed in Guernsey for nearly 25 years, that we contribute to the society and community in which we operate, and this partnership is symbolic of that commitment.”
Lesley Bourgaize, Chairperson of La Société’s Reserves Committee said: “La Société is always extremely grateful when local companies support our work. By offering to supply regular work parties, Investec has allowed us to carry out extra work at two reserves, the Colin McCathie Reserve [Vale Pond] and Pre D’Enfer in Rue Des Bergers, both of which are going through a period of planned habitat restoration.”
President of La Société, Trevor Bourgaize, added: “As well as maintaining reserves, La Société continues to collate data on local flora and fauna and we are grateful to Investec for helping us to gather data on both eelgrass beds and crab populations, both important indicators of the health of our coastal environment.”
La Société has very few paid employees, so a structured volunteering schedule is important to optimise its effectiveness. The three year partnership with Investec means La Société can plan ahead on their land management calendar to make the best possible use of volunteers’ time and effort.
Philippa Nicolle, who co-ordinates CSR at Investec said: “Our people have 2 days a year they can volunteer for La Société. The 1 June marks the beginning of Volunteers’ Week in the UK which is a good time to say thanks to all volunteers who play a huge role in the Guernsey community.”