Side By Side

Bringing staff and customers together beyond the high street

Employee volunteering has gone from strength to strength in recent years with more companies reporting higher numbers of staff involved in community projects every year. But the concept of customer volunteering is a new – and somewhat radical – idea.

‘Side by Side’ brought together Nationwide employees and customers to form teams of volunteers supporting various community projects across the UK.

We worked with Nationwide to pilot the concept and to identify key principles that make customer-employee volunteering work.

We ran projects in Bournemouth, Bristol, London, Nottingham and Swindon, which saw 850 volunteers engage with a range of charities including Shelter, British Heart Foundation, Young Bristol and Victoria Education Centre. The projects varied in size, focus and location with some high street Nationwide branches converted into community hubs.

Nationwide customers described it as a great opportunity to see the building society living its values and for staff it was an excellent chance to get to know their customers better. Moreover, the programme has inspired ongoing volunteering for some participants and a new charity partnership between Nationwide and the British Heart Foundation.

We were lucky enough to have a film crew present to capture some of the magic.