19 May 2006
More than 1,800 people from across London are taking part today in one of the capital's largest days of voluntary action.
Record numbers of people will today give their time for free to help others after a 50 per cent soar in popularity for the "London Cares Day" initiative.
The scheme, run by Business in the Community (BITC), encourages businesses and workers to swap their desk job and become decorators and gardeners for a day of volunteering at schools and youth projects across the capital.
Charity chiefs behind the campaign said the rise in volunteers highlights an increasing trend in businesses realising the social benefits of corporate social responsibility.
Now in its second year, the initiative will see more than 130 projects tackled in 114 schools across 23 London Boroughs.
And more than 60 companies are taking part in the day, from household names such as British Gas and Eversheds to small businesses and even an army regiment.
The chairman of the London Cares Day Leadership Group and managing director of Metro, Steve Auckland, said: "We're excited that so many people have signed up to take part in London Cares Day.
"This truly demonstrates that the people of London care about the city in which they work and want to make the capital a place where young people can thrive.
"It will be a day of hard work, great fun and personal satisfaction for all involved."
British Gas and Eversheds are sponsoring London Cares Day 2006 and will have more than 200 employees volunteering on a range of projects.
While British Gas will be painting murals and reading to children, the Eversheds teams will be redecorating a charity outdoor centre and holding a football tournament.
London Cares is part of a National Cares campaign, co-ordinated by Business in the Community. Cares' operations already cover over 30 locations in the UK and are continuing to expand across the UK.
Business in the Community is a unique independent business led charity whose purpose is to inspire, engage, support and challenge companies to continually improve the impact they have on society.