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Trafalgar Team uses their 24,000 Paid Volunteer Hours in support of International Volunteer Day 2019

December 9, 2019 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Since 2008 Trafalgar, the world leader in guided travel, alongside The Travel Corporation Family of Brands sister companies, has been offering staff members two paid volunteer days annually to support causes close to their hearts as part of their commitment to social responsibility. This week, in celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2019, many Trafalgar team members across the globe contributed some of their paid volunteer time to take part in everything from beach cleans, gift wrapping and dog walking to food drives across the world, all of which contributes towards a huge total of 24,000 paid volunteer hours given back through volunteering across the course of the year.

Adopted by the United Nations in 1985, this day is a chance for individual volunteers, communities and businesses to make a difference both locally and internationally and is celebrated on 5 December each year. IVD’s theme for 2019 is that of “volunteer for an inclusive future”, highlighting the pursuit of equality, inclusion and volunteerism. This week, Trafalgar’s team around the world embraced the cause, volunteering alongside one another to support a huge variety of organisations around the world.

The volunteer days provide staff with the choice to give back as teams and individuals within their schedules and encourages a dialogue between the offices around the world to share what they do, all of whom are passionate about the opportunity to make a difference. Not simply limited to IVD, the company’s JoinTrafalgar sustainability initiatives support a number of causes throughout the year with three primary pillars of supporting people, places, wildlife and the planet as part of the brand’s JoinTrafalgar DNA.

“Our goal is to Make Travel Matter so social responsibility and giving back to people, places and wildlife and the planet is part of our everyday, so allowing our teams to pursue their own passions through these volunteer days is crucial to this” says Trafalgar’s CEO Gavin Tollman. “We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to give back and by providing these paid days throughout the year, we are making it easy for our team to support their own causes, as individuals and as a group at a time that suits them” he said.

The sentiment was echoed by one of the brand’s Australian team members based in Geneva. “The two paid volunteer days was something that really attracted me to Trafalgar” said Gemma Myhill, Marketing & Campaigns Manager. “To know that we have active encouragement from the top to take two days and be paid for it, to support causes that we as individuals choose to be passionate about, is really unique” Ms Myhill concluded.

Examples of what the team got up to this week which showcases the breadth of supported organisations in celebration of IVD 2019 include:

In Sydney, Australia, the team packed food boxes, wrote cards and wrapped gifts for Sydney Basket Brigade, Magic Moments Foundation
In New Zealand alongside longstanding partner Sustainable Coastlines the team will be embarking on a beach clean at Little Shoal Bay, Auckland
In the UK, members of the team were taking part in gardening and painting at the MindCare Dementia Centre, Bromley
The team’s Indian office will also be taking to Mahim Beach to do clean ups to the Mumbai Coastline
Team South African team took part in beach cleans in Cape Town, helped at the Thembalami Care Centre retirement home and walked and cared for dogs at the Husky Rescue Centre in Johannesburg, while in Durban staff worked at the Highway Children’s Home
In Toronto, the team sponsor a family in need as well as provided and prepped Christmas essentials alongside Holiday Helpers
The California team served food and helped with day to day requirements at the Second Harvest Food Bank
Geneva based team members got busy stock sorting and packing food boxes from the city’s food stores to distribute free of charge to associations and social services, as well as taking part in a blood donation at HUG Hospital

JoinTrafalgar is powered by TreadRight, The Travel Corporations now 11-year-old foundation, Trafalgar’s social sustainability efforts can be recognised all 365 days of the year. The company has plastic free offices, has so far removed single-use-plastics from its coaches in Europe & Asia, and planted 222 acres of trees in Northern California and Tanzania as a direct result of its paper free travel initiatives, now entering their third year.

The brand is also proud to have signed the Make Travel Matter Pledge on World Tourism Day 2019, with over 7,300 signatures and counting, cementing the teams commitment to making a positive impact to the betterment of people, places & wildlife and the planet. With over 80 JoinTrafalgar experiences globally included within itineraries, Trafalgar guests are able to be part of the story as they travel.

“As part of the travel community we all have a responsibility to Make a Difference and give back, and I encourage everyone to get involved, whether it be days, or hours, big or small, to give back in any way you can. Nowhere is immune from this need. If you haven’t participated in giving back or even a clean-up in your local area, do so. Volunteer, because you will be surprised at how neglected many of these places are and the reward to these communities and oneself is enormous.” concluded Tollman.

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