When work stopped the volunteering began. What followed was a holistic employee volunteering effort through a breadth of activities on a nationwide basis. Employees took part in such activities as fund-raising, home improvement, gardening, catering, and spending quality time with service-users of Simon and even running a farmers’ market within the brewery grounds.
By the end of the day, employees had logged up in excess of 2,000 hours on local Simon community project work in their respective communities throughout Ireland. Significant amounts were raised and donated to the Simon Community to help the homeless and those most affected by alcohol abuse in Irish society.
Employees also had a real sense of ownership of the V-Day programme. The whole experience has had a profound effect on both Heineken employees and the Simon community. Heineken’s employees, in turn, found the experience “rewarding, enriching, humbling, a real revelation and a wonderful team experience”.
According to Heineken Ireland’s Corporate Relations Manager Declan Farmer, “Employee volunteerism is an integral part of our sustainability ‘Brewing a Better Future’ programme. Activities such as V-Day are testament to that commitment to supporting local communities whilst at the same time providing our employees with an opportunity to put their passion, talent and expertise to work by helping organisations and causes they believe in”.
The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr John Buttimer congratulated the company’s employees for the initiative.
"The volunteer work undertaken is unseen and unheralded but it makes a significant difference to the individuals who receive the support, to the community and not least to the individuals who volunteer themselves,” he stated, “The employees of Heineken Ireland through their voluntary work and active engagement are creating the community and city that they want to live in. They are real role models who use their skills, talents and interests to help improve the quality of life of individuals who need support and enhance the fabric of their local community and city. The benefit of programmes like the V-Day cannot be measured in simple monetary terms but in other intangible ways that have a much longer lasting legacy."
Dermot Cavanaugh, Chief Executive of the Cork Simon, commenting on Heineken’s V-Day activity, added, “V-Day epitomises what Cork Simon has been about for over 40 years – people from all walks of life coming together, believing in people, sharing their time, talents and experiences to help make sure that people who have nothing have a chance to hope again, to rebuild their lives and feel part of the wider community. It’s an incredible contribution to make in helping to tackle homelessness”.
Launched in 2010, ‘Brewing a Better Future’ is Heineken’s long-term sustainability initiative. The integrated programmes that make up the initiative focus on improving the environmental impact of Heineken’s brands and business, empowering people and the communities in which Heineken operates and positively impacting the role of beer in society.