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Staff at Morgan Stanley create digital values board for CHAS

When the pandemic led to the temporary closure of the CHAS offices, we turned to corporate supporter, Morgan Stanley, to create a digital version of our on site values boards.

Isn’t it an amazing feeling when you get a compliment or a heartfelt ‘thank you’? Here at CHAS we use values boards in all our sites, to enable our people to connect, recognise one another and say thank you when a colleague has made a positive impact on others. This is a way for us to celebrate people when they really ‘live’ the CHAS values.

When the coronavirus pandemic led to the temporary closure of our offices, we turned to long-standing corporate supporter, Morgan Stanley, to assist us in making sure we could keep this positive initiative going even when working remotely!

So we were delighted to harness the skills of three Morgan Stanley employees from the Technologies department who volunteered to support us with the creation of a digital values board that could be accessed by all staff and volunteers throughout Scotland, from the comfort of their homes. As one of their core values, Morgan Stanley is committed to supporting their employees to give back. At CHAS we are committed to building truly meaningful corporate partnerships that deliver mutual benefits. Corporate volunteering and skills sharing are key components of that. Traditionally, many opportunities undertaken by these volunteers are practical team-based activities, based in the hospice gardens, charity shops or involving fundraising. However, with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, many of these opportunities are currently unavailable, and identifying new ways for people to participate in our cause is key to our volunteering strategy.

The three volunteers who came forward – Abdul, Peter and Tariq have been a joy to work with, bringing commitment, innovation and creativity to the project. Between them they have designed and implemented a fully accessible digital values board, where staff and volunteers can post messages using the CHAS alphabet letters, to recognise one another, as they would have done with the physical boards in our sites. The digital board enables us to download the messages we create and email them to our colleagues as well as uploading them to our social media accounts as a means of recognising others externally. This is ideal for staff and volunteers across Scotland, many of whom are home-based.

Head of Volunteering, Morven MacLean, reflected on the project, saying: “This is a great example of partnership working between CHAS and one of our valued corporate partners. It shows that we can and should think creatively about where and how we involve corporate volunteers in our cause.

“The Morgan Stanley volunteers have brought new skills to CHAS, sharing their expertise to develop a product that we would not have been able to create ourselves. My experience of working with the team at Morgan Stanley was that they were true professionals, whose commitment to getting the product right for CHAS, a cause they care deeply about, was at the heart of their approach.

“There are so many ways in which corporates can support charities through volunteering and it doesn’t need to be the traditional paint and fix model. We should challenge ourselves as a sector to identify projects on our wish lists that we have neither the time nor the skills for and reach out to enthusiastic and supportive partners. We have reaped the rewards from this partnership and look forward to identifying more projects that corporate partners can support us with in the future.”

Joanne Hamilton, Co-Chair of the Morgan Stanley Glasgow Charity Committee, commented: "Morgan Stanley Glasgow has been a proud supporter of CHAS for more than 6 years. During this time, staff have volunteered in a variety of different ways including gardening at both Robin and Rachel House, assisting at the CHAS Ladies Lunch and annual Christmas concert at the Royal Concert Hall, helping with CHAS mailing campaigns and volunteering at the Loch Lomond Highland Games. It has been our pleasure to see our employees give their time to this charity and the relationship between Morgan Stanley Glasgow and CHAS is highly valued by both organisations.

"Whilst the events of 2020 rendered in person volunteering more challenging, we were grateful that our Technology Philanthropy Committee were able to offer support via a virtual volunteering opportunity which leveraged the skills of our Technology colleagues to create an online values board. The team invested in excess of 30 hours each to create the board which offers the opportunity to share positive messages between CHAS staff and volunteers. Rami Okasha, the CHAS Chief Executive, commended the efforts of our staff saying 'Good staff engagement is so important for every employer, but particularly for CHAS and other healthcare organisation.'

"Although we have missed a more regular programme of volunteering, we are delighted that Morgan Stanley Glasgow could continue this positive partnership with CHAS, in an innovative way, against the backdrop of a challenging 2020.

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