Twenty-six-year-old Joe Hardy, a Gripple despatch operative, is spending ten weeks in Tanzania and not only helping to improve the lives of people in their communities but also developing his own life and work skills.
Joe’s visit follows the Gripple companies joining forces with Raleigh International – the charity striving to establish sustainable change through youth in challenging environments overseas.
During his stay as a volunteer manager Joe is helping to deliver WASH – water, sanitation and hygiene – projects in rural Tanzanian communities, supporting the completion of a 19-day youth leadership trek and the construction of a school toilet block.
This is the second year the employee-owned Gripple companies have released several of their youngest employees to spend up to 13 weeks as volunteers in remote and disadvantaged communities to help and develop their leadership skills.
Joe says; “Having this opportunity to immerse myself in a culturally-new environment is allowing me to gain many new skills. These include planning and problem-solving; leading diverse groups of young people; cultural awareness; communication and management skills, which would not be easily possible at home.
“My confidence has grown, and I have more belief in myself and my abilities. I was very nervous before I arrived but now I don’t want to leave!”
The Raleigh International programme is open to employees from all Gripple companies – Gripple, Gripple Automation, Loadhog, PMS Diecasting, GoTools and Laser Scanning – represented in the private company, GLIDE (Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee Company).
Employees were invited to submit applications prior to a rigorous two stage interview process by members of the GLIDE board. The other successful employees this year, both under 25, are Marie Henri, who will travel to Nepal and Aga Swiderska who will volunteer in Costa Rica.
Gripple funds a considerable portion of the costs for each volunteer, with the remaining being raised by the successful applicants in events such as leg waxes, BBQs and bake sales.