In order to address the growing demand from staff to get involved with the group's citizenship activities, APRIL's CSR department has launched the APRIL Citizen project. Over 180 volunteer staff members have signed up throughout France to get involved alongside associations and institutions which are partners of the group and the APRIL Foundation: Institut Télémaque, Emmaüs, Apféé and the Missions Locales.
Staff have pledged their involvement as: coaches for young people facing barriers to employment with the Missions Locales; tutors to talented young people from underprivileged backgrounds with the Institut Télémarque to help them succeed in their studies and work; volunteers with the Emmaüs charity to spend a day in the life of an Emmaüs companion; volunteers with children likely to drop out of school early in order to help them learn to read and write.
The last 6 months has seen many rewarding experiences and encounters. A very positive first year for the APRIL Citizen project, which will be back over the coming years!
Yamina Kadouri, Customer service officer at APRIL Santé Prévoyance and volunteer with Emmaüs shares her experience:
I would never have taken the step of volunteering on my own, but the project run by APRIL made me want to do something useful and see how an Emmaüs community operates. I learnt so much that day and was very moved by the experience. I met some very interesting people and I'm now considering getting involved on a more permanent basis with the charity.
We have observed that on returning to work, those staff members who take part in the APRIL Citizen projects have a different perspective on people and the way that they work with others. "It is an invisible guiding thread which helps build links within the company. Being confronted with different environments helps break down barriers and encourage dialogue about societal issues, particularly through such extraordinary encounters. APRIL Citizen unites the company and its staff around the same values, such as keeping things simple, humility and pushing the boundarie,concludes Fabienne Ernoult, APRIL's Executive Director for CSR.