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Global giving: supporting causes around the world

International Giving Tuesday, celebrated on 30 November, reminds us of our commitment to help people reach their potential, and how volunteering and charity partnerships enable our colleagues to connect with their communities internationally.

One Billion Literates Foundation helping children with their education
One Billion Literates Foundation helping children with their education

Since August 2021, nearly 50 colleagues at Cambridge University Press & Assessment have volunteered more than 200 hours, more than £21,000 has been given to charity and more than 130,000 textbooks were given to charities across India.

Volunteering 

In our organisation, everyone is encouraged to give two paid days volunteering per year, and to fundraise for and support our main charity partners and causes which matter to people personally. Some of our colleagues have volunteered for Book Aid International, transcribing interviews which saves their staff hours of work and enables them to focus on reaching more supporters. 

Two teams spent a day each doing environmental work with the Wildlife Trust, coppicing at Brampton Wood and removing old tree guards at Trumpington Meadows in Cambridgeshire, UK. Head of Sustainability, Vicky Evans, who volunteered with the Wildlife Trust, said: "The UK is the most nature deprived country in Europe so it was great to spend time caring for our green spaces so that others can continue to enjoy them too. It was the first time our team had the opportunity to do something together in person and it was great to be able to do that by putting our sustainability commitments into action in our local community."

Colleagues volunteering with the Wildlife Trust, Cambridge, UK

Volunteering with the Wildlife Trust, Cambridge, November 2021

Eight volunteers spent a day helping Rowan Humberstone, an arts and forest school in Cambridge for adults with learning disabilities, keeping their forest school maintained for Rowan’s student artists. Diane Salmon, Business Change Manager, who volunteered for Rowan Humberstone, said: "I had a great time – lovely to meet people I don’t usually get to work with… it’s a great community spirit!"

The schools publishing team delivered virtual work experience sessions over five weeks to University Technical College Warrington in the northwest of England, giving students aged 14 to 18 insights into market research, design, social media, e-learning, apprenticeships and what it means to be an inclusive employer. Head of Publishing, Lucy Mills, whose team delivered virtual work experience, said: "I hope it was as enriching for students as it was for us. It was much more than just about donating our time and skills to help students think about career choices; it was a chance to give back to schools who we serve with our resources and who have found it impossible to organise any meaningful work experience during the past 18 months."

Colleagues volunteering with Rowan Humberstone, Cambridge, UK

Volunteering with Rowan Humberstone, Cambridge, UK, November 2021

Donations and fundraising

Our team in India team recently donated more than 130,000 textbooks to four charities that work to improve the lives of many people across the country:

  • Gully Ruggers Foundation, who work with street children in South Delhi, teaching and helping with life skills.
  • 17000ft. Foundation, who improve the lives of people living in remote villages, through their 200+ libraries in Ladakh and Sikkim region.
  • Scope For Change, who provide books to NGOs supporting environment, education, women empowerment, social wellbeing and health.
  • Save the Children, India’s leading independent child rights NGO. During ‘Daan Utsay’ (Joy of Giving Week), they will give books to students in five cities.

Ridhima Bahl, Marketing Manager, said: "For these charities they are a way to improve lives, helping to teach street children English, set up libraries in remote villages and help NGOs with their life-improving work in India."

The India team’s charity partner, the One Billion Literates Foundation, continued their work helping children get back to education, gathering children in small groups, running classes in open spaces and distributing worksheets door-to-door.

One Billion Literates Foundation helping children with their education

One Billion Literates Foundation helping children with their education

Colleagues in the UK donated and fundraised more than £21,000 for our main charity partners, through Give As You Earn and for causes which are important to them personally, including Law Works, Red Cross, Rainbow Trust, National Deaf Children’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research and Shelter. Colleagues also donated food to Jimmy’s homeless shelter and are currently collecting food for hampers to give to people in need this Christmas in Cambridge via local charities, which volunteers will be helping to distribute during December.


By Heidi Mulvey, head of community engagement