INTO Giving wants you out of the office and into something you love!

INTO University Partnerships, gives all its employees, two PAID volunteering days. This means that the causes …

Want a break from your desk? #DoSomethingNow and find out how!

27 Aug 2019

INTO University Partnerships, gives all its employees, two PAID volunteering days. This means that the causes you love benefit, and you don’t miss out on a penny of that hard earned wonga!

 We heard from employees across the country who have been digging in and doing their bit for local causes close to their hearts. From helping refugees to stopping deforestation and the history (as well as the future!) of exciting tech inventions, these women of INTO have been busy!

 Pauline Lowrie, a Lecturer/Subject Leader Biology at Manchester told us about her two amazing, and very different, volunteering days.

 “I volunteered at MerseyAid in Huyton. This is a small charity that collects clothing, camping equipment, food, cooking equipment, medical equipment and so on to send to refugees.

I am always collecting these things from people I know and delivering them to our warehouse at Huyton.

 Last year we were packing a container to send to Chios in Greece. The items needed sorting – e.g. ladies’ coats size 14, men’s trousers large, and so on. Then we pack them into labelled boxes that are exactly the right size to fill the container.

 This is a dirty and physical job, as we are bending, lifting and moving things in a space that used to be the indoor market in Huyton, underneath a 1960's multi storey car park, with only emergency lighting and no facilities at all. However, the people there (all volunteers) are just amazing and motivated, working together as a team. We sent a container of aid to Chios in Greece last November, containing many boxes I had personally packed that day.

 I spent another day volunteering at Chester Zoo. I am already a trained volunteer there, so it was good to spend a whole day there.

 I was allocated a different position in the zoo every hour of the period there. The exact role depends on where you are placed, but wherever you are, you are there to answer visitors’ questions, which may be about the animals, but can also be directions to the toilets, the eating places, the way out, or different animals. (We wear a uniform, so we are distinguishable).

 One position on Islands is where we give out booklets to children to encourage them to spot certain animals and learn about reasons why the animals are endangered, and why they are important to conserve.

 By the sun bears, we talk to visitors about the illegal wildlife trade and how they can help prevent it (e.g. buy not buying certain kinds of souvenir when they are on holiday, not having photographs taken with wild animals such as monkeys, and not posting photos/videos on Facebook saying ‘I’d love one of these animals as a pet’.

 By the orangutans, we are especially keen to spread the message about palm oil causing deforestation, and how people can select products that contain sustainable palm oil when they shop.

 At the Bali station, we talk about zoo breeding programmes and how the zoo has saved the Bali Mynah from extinction, and even reintroduced the bird into the wild. We also talk about the song bird trade in Indonesia that is threatening many bird species.

 My favourite station is by the aye-ayes, where we tell people about these animals from Madagascar (they are a kind of lemur) and their adaptations. We also mention that they are critically endangered because the local people think they are evil spirits and kill them.”


 Our INTO Superwomen don’t stop there, as they’re also getting their hands on the tech world.


Gillian Kester in Newcastle has been getting involved at the Great Exhibition of the North event.

 She says “I attended and assisted the public at the Lit and Phil building where there was an exhibition about Joseph Swan and the history of the light bulb.  It included information and exhibits on energy-saving light bulbs and fluorescent tubes, including the latest graphene LED bulbs. On 23rd I also attended the Discovery Museum and helped with introducing the public to the new ‘Azuma’ diesel-electric hybrid trains (brought into operation by GNER earlier this year).  Members of the public required assistance in taking part in simulated ‘Azuma’ train driving tasks.”


As you can tell, we’ve got some pretty passionate employees here at INTO.


There are so many interesting and incredible ways to use your volunteering days, so what are you waiting for?


Visit  for volunteering inspiration and to find out more about what your colleagues have been up to!


Keep going. Be passionate. Make Change







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