To develop their leadership skills the employee-owned Gripple companies are to release several staff to spend weeks as volunteers with a national charity which strives to establish sustainable change in challenging environments overseas.
To provide opportunities for the companies’ youngest employees, GLIDE (Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee Company Limited) – the private company established by Gripple’s founding chairman, Hugh Facey to harness the culture of each member business – has joined forces with Raleigh International – the charity creating lasting change through youth where there are development challenges.
The programme was open to employees from all GLIDE companies – Gripple, Gripple Automation, Loadhog, PMS Diecasting, GoTools and Laser Scanning, with employees submitting applications before a rigorous two stage interview process by members of the GLIDE board. The successful employees, three under 25, Natalia Piekarczyk, Chris Ellis and Joe Goldthorpe, will be in volunteer positions and one over 25, Ewa Smereka who will take up a volunteer manager role, will begin their expeditions in July.
They will set off on 8-13 week-long expeditions respectively to remote communities in Costa Rica, Malaysian Borneo and Tanzania undertaking activities such as building new schools and digging wells to establish water supplies.
GLIDE will fund a considerable portion of the costs for each volunteer, with the remaining being raised by the successful applicants in projects such as leg waxes, BBQs and bake sales, with more inventive events planned.
James Sallows, GLIDE chairman, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for younger people in our businesses to experience life-changing activities and develop valuable skills which will enhance their professional development. We hope this will be the first of many years in partnership with Raleigh International to provide these types of projects for many of our shareholding employees.”