It was the beginning of March; we were all fed up with being in lockdown. It had been almost a year now, and after long cold winter, the novelty of working from home was wearing off.
Nonetheless, we were grateful to be part of the Alltruck family. We had seen businesses close around us, friends losing their jobs, and the threat of a recession around the corner. But we had a job, and each other to lean on. Anyone who’s worked at Alltruck will know how much that means, to have colleagues by your side that truly care.
Finally, March the 8th arrived, the kids were back at school and we had dates for lockdown being eased. Something to look forward to. It’s all we’re wishing for in these strange times.
With this tiny bit of freedom and a new lease of energy from Boris Johnson’s announcement. We set to work to turn things around make March a great month. And what better way to this than dig into our values and get back to helping the community?
Here’s what we did to lift the mood and turn a long winter into a marvellous March:
Since the schools had gone back, Leicestershire Cares (our local community charity) were able to resume the mock interviews they were arranging with people from local businesses and students. This offered the perfect space for our staff to give something back.
The mock interviews were over Zoom, as unfortunately we still couldn’t go into the schools due to the pandemic. But it still gave our community champions an opportunity to help after what has been a bit of a tough year for us all.
Leicestershire Cares has found that, to date, 94% of students have said they enjoyed their interview with 96% saying it was very useful or quite useful. 87% of students felt that a mock interview had given them more confidence to go into their next interview, whether it be face-to-face or online. All students have been complimentary about their interviewer with many saying that they had taken advice from the employer that they would use in their next interview.
It was also a really uplifting experience for our staff, with those who took part saying that it was ‘inspiring’, ‘positive’ and ‘motivating’:
“I found these students really inspiring. They’ve literally had their worlds turned upside down in a really important year – their final year at school – and yet they were still optimistic and excited about the future. I really enjoyed my morning talking to the students and offering pointers as and when I could, and It certainly spurred me on for the rest of the week seeing their determination.”
Hannah Sowerby-Hill – Content Marketing Executive
“It was a really positive experience; I was really amazed at the level of some of these school leavers interviews! I spoke to one young man who wasn’t confident going into a college interview the following day, I think that our chat made a real difference to him, and hopefully, he was able to use these ideas to secure his place”
Leo Dawkins – Fleet Manager
“I really enjoyed interviewing Year 12’s and 13’s at Beauchamp College. I found it really difficult to pick a STAR student as they were all so enthusiastic and motivated to succeed. It was good to be able to support the students with their career decisions and preparations for university applications. A really nice event to be part of during the lockdown.”
Jess Holt – HR Manager
Having one birthday in lockdown is difficult enough but having two is a bit of a disappointment to say the very least. That’s exactly how Jensen felt as he realised that he would be facing yet another birthday in lockdown in March 2021.
Jensen became a bit of a superstar on BBC Radio Derby as the local radio station made a pledge to get as many cards as they could for Jensen’s for his 8th birthday.
Jensen has Down’s Syndrome and was pretty upset about spending a second birthday away from his friends and family. Especially because last year, during the first lockdown, he only received 5 cards. If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have seen the pledge from BBC Radio Derby to make Jensen’s birthday extra special.
You can watch the moment Twiggy revealed how many cards Jensen received on the radio here. (Spoiler alert: it was over 800!!!)
However, our true community champion, Clem Lomas, wished to go one step further. Clem wanted to send Jensen a little gift to help brighten his day. Unfortunately, Radio Derby wasn’t accepting presents, but that wasn’t going to stop our superhero, Clem!
On one chilly Saturday morning in March, Clem hopped in her car and took it upon herself to drive to Derby (from her home in Leicester) and drop off Jensen’s gift.
I think it’s safe to say, Jensen was rather thrilled with his gifts – especially the mini Alltruck truck!
Our lovely HR manager, Jess Holt, HGV valet, Sam Allen, and our wonderful Clem also helped put together over 100 ‘bags of hope’ for Leicestershire Cares which were distributed throughout Leicestershire to kids who could do with something to put a smile on their face!
In the bags are easter eggs and some toys and activity packs for the children, which were all lovingly packed by Clem and Jess.
We were also very pleased to receive a wonderful message from AquAid letting Alltruck plc know that, by using their water dispensers, we had helped fund a water well in Zimbabwe!
Our pump is located in Manicaland – a province in the northeastern highlands of Zimbabwe.
We are told that having this pump on-site will reduce the need for households having to walk an average of 7 miles per day to retrieve water, often from contaminated sources.
The pump has the capability of producing up to 10,000 liters of potable water per day, to upwards of 300 people within the community, who are now able to collect clean drinking water and water for productive use every day.
These water pumps are built by an experienced Africa Trust team leader, with the assistance of the local community, using more readily available materials which are easier to source locally. This allows for the community to easily repair the pump should they need to, which in turn extends the life of the pump exponentially. Of the 8,000 pumps installed, 95% are still in operation today – a figure 40% above the average for the continent.
What a fantastic mission!
We don’t plan on stopping there. As lockdown restrictions ease, we will be ramping up our efforts to help our local communities who have clearly taken a hit during this past year.
Just like we’ve done in the past, we’ll be rolling up our sleeves and pulling on our boots and getting stuck in with a whole host of volunteering opportunities – from gardening, planting trees, to helping our local schools with their reading and writing, and mock interviews. We’re going to do our best to help.
If you have a cause you think we could help with, please feel free to email Hannah.Sowerby-Hill@alltruckplc.co.uk and we will see what we can do. We hope everyone enjoys the approach of summer!