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Margreet’s Favourite Sustainability Initiative: NLdoet

Every month, one of PRé’s people talks about his or her personal favourite sustainable initiative. This can be a product or a shop, a local initiative or a new website. This month, Margreet Riedstra talks about NLdoet, an annual national event at which tens of thousands of Dutch spend a day doing volunteer work.

By Margreet Riedstra on May 04, 2015

 

It’s an essential part of PRé’s values to make corporate social responsibility an active practice, to care for people and the community. We stimulate our people to be involved in a practical way. In our opinion, volunteering adds meaning to our work and makes everyone feel good. Therefore, we allow our team to dedicate some working time to volunteering in the community. This year, we signed up for NLdoet to help for a day.

 

What Is NLdoet?

NLdoet puts volunteering in the spotlight and encourages everyone to get their hands dirty for a day. In the past 10 years, NLdoet has attracted 1.5 million volunteers to help with 40,000 projects. NLdoet is organised by the Oranje Fonds, the largest national fund in the social field. The Oranje Fonds supports organisations and initiatives that strengthen social cohesion in the Netherlands and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are the patron couple of the Fund.

 

Providing A Supportive Living Space

On 20 March, PRé’s people deployed themselves in Den Dolder, in a group home for young adults with disabilities. The group home is part of care organisation Reinaerde and houses eight people, aged 16 to 24 years. During the day, these young people go to day care or special schools, where they mainly learn through experience and repetition. They gain experience in working in a group and are encouraged to explore their own potential and growth, supported by the supervisors.

 

These teenagers and adults receive many impressions during the day at school and the daily activities, so it is important that their living environment helps them relax and process their day. Supporting these young people consumes a lot of the supervisors’ time, however, leaving almost no time for home and garden maintenance.

 

For that reason, the group home signed up for NLdoet. The people who live there enjoy being in the garden. The group home supervisors therefore wished to restore the garden to its original condition and make it cosy. We embraced this task.

 

Exercising Our Green Thumbs

The supervisors received us very hospitably with coffee, tea and sweets. Then we all went to work. We cleaned the garden furniture, tensioned the trampoline, put together a cabinet, cleaned the windows, filled jars with flowers, placed a fence, weeded the garden and planted new flowers to finish the job. Then, the supervisor's team treated us to a delicious lunch.

 

While we worked, there was ample opportunity to hear more about the group home and the young people who live there. In the afternoon, the teenagers and young adults came home from school or day care. They seemed to be very happy with their new garden. After eating an ice cream together, we said goodbye to the young people and their supervisors. We experienced this day as very special and meaningful. It was nice to be able to do something for the group home, and our commitment was highly appreciated.

 

What Can You Do?

If you’d like to volunteer – as company or as individual – you can sign up for NLdoet on 11 and 12 March 2016. For more information, visit the organisation's website. Next month, someone will tell us something about his/her favourite initiative.

Contact the author

‘Sustainability is important because all of the choices we make today will affect the future. It is important that people become aware of environmental protection to achieve a better quality of life, now and for future generations to come.

Working at PRé gives me the opportunity to contribute to a better future and to work on sustainable employment by supporting employees to work in longer, different, and healthier ways.’

Contact Margreet Riedstra
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