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Case Study: Eileen Taylor on Volunteering

Eileen Taylor, Global Head of Diversity, first became involved in Corporate Citizenship when she joined the Bank’s Charities Committee in 2002.  She then became an active volunteer, mainly with East London Business Alliance (ELBA). Eileen was soon invited to join ELBA’s Hackney Forum, and now chairs ELBA’s London Legacy 2020 Youth and Sports Board; helping East London capture the long-term benefits of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, using private sector influence and the lure of the Olympics to help local people improve their skills, find jobs and give youth good role models.  As her experience with the charity has grown, Eileen has now become a trustee of East London Business Alliance.

The benefits for the external community are clear, but what are the advantages of volunteering for employees? Eileen believes it has made her a better communicator. “Talking to people who operate in very different worlds has helped me to better judge my audience and adjust my communications style accordingly.”

She also feels volunteering makes employees more well-rounded. “I think it can give people a more balanced perspective on things. Volunteering can make us aware that poverty and skill gaps exist right on our doorstep, and that we can make an impact with a relatively small investment. I’m thrilled when someone has become involved in volunteering and I commend it in the PMO process.

So what advice would she give to employees who want to start volunteering? Eileen explains that time-pressed employees shouldn’t view volunteering exclusively as a weekly commitment. “The Corporate Citizenship team has made it so that volunteering is not a one-size-fits-all venture – far from it. If you ask for a one-off project, they will do their very best to match your skills with their many contacts.” There is a huge variety of opportunities for Deutsche Bank employees who want to use their two days of volunteering: serving breakfast at Whitechapel Mission, helping out at sporting events, mentoring, writing business plans…the choices go on.

But is it wise to take your eye off the ball now, in the face of the credit crunch and current market conditions? Eileen brushes this aside: “Volunteering is especially important when the environment is tough. It lets you pull back and focus on something positive. It’s not complicated and it’s very rewarding. Just bite the bullet.”

For more information about ELBA please visit:

East London Business Alliance Home

Key Facts
  • 1749 Deutsche Bank UK employees volunteered in 2012
  • Over £1.6m was raised for the two Charities of the Year in 2012
  • £1.9m of donations and fundraising completed by employees were matched pound for pound by Deutsche Bank in 2012
COTY - Selection Process
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Last Update: February 20, 2013
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