All CGI members given a paid annual volunteering day which they can use in any way they want. This year, some of our members used theirs to work on a ‘bat hotel’ conversion, a biodiversity initiative organised by CGI member  Kathryn Ratcliffe. In this article, our volunteer team on the initiative share more about the project, what they got up to on the day and why it makes them proud to be CGI members.

December 2021

Kathryn Ratcliffe, Senior Project Manager

I’ve always felt that big companies have a big responsibility to make a positive impact on society. At CGI, there’s a really strong ethos of giving back to our communities that runs right through our organisation from the top down, and I am always so proud to be part of a company that uses its power to create real change.

CGI gives its members a paid ‘volunteer’ day every year, and the range of initiatives and projects we cover is never ending. Recently, I organised a wildlife and conservation-focused event in which a group of CGI volunteers converted a World War II pill box into a ‘bat hotel’ – a safe haven for bats. It was a fantastic day and we achieved so much, a testament to what a difference can be made anywhere in even just a few short hours.

I know the whole team enjoyed the experience as much as I did, which you can read more about below – and check out my article here for more on our work with the Canal River Trust.

David Pegg, Director Consulting Services

“The ‘bat hotel’ project sounded like fun and a great way to get away from Teams calls for a day! I also saw it as a great chance to get to know some new faces from around CGI.

Biodiversity is clearly important to a growing number of staff, shareholders and customers, so I think it’s just the responsible thing to do for a business to do what it can to contribute. Big companies have the power to make a real impact, not just by the services they deliver but the leadership they can show as they deliver them. I like the fact that for CGI this is very real, not just lip service.”

Lizzy Mitchell, Software Engineer

“I liked the idea of helping wildlife and having a day outside. I care about the world we live in and I think we should look after our environments. It’s just the right thing to do.”

Liam Brooks, Business Test Analyst

“Volunteering is something I have wanted to do more of so this was a perfect opportunity. We helped repair the footpath and create a border along the side. We were also involved in the restoration of a pill box. 

It’s important for companies to strive towards biodiversity because without it, we could see an ecological collapse. We have to give nature the space and protection it needs. Being part of these schemes is one small way we can help – CGI cares and it’s serious about acting in the best interest of our environment and society.”

Adam Hawkins, Architect & Technical Lead

“This project piqued my interest because it was something I’d never done before, was an opportunity to meet CGI members from other business units, and it gave me a chance to get out of the house (there’s only so much working from home one can stand!).

Biodiversity is just as important as climate change. Humans are directly affecting animal and plant habitats with our actions and we’re going to drive them to extinction unless we act now to reverse it. I can hold my head high saying I work for CGI because CGI makes an effort to improve the world we live in with initiatives like this one – we’re not just here to make money.”

Paul Sandwell, Software Engineer

“I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature, and being able to volunteer for a project that would allow others to enjoy it too felt very rewarding! We did some repointing of an old WW2 bunker to make it suitable for bats, and some much needed hedge trimming and clearing to broaden the space along the canal side.

Biodiversity affects everyone, so getting involved as a business is a great way to get our members talking about it and thinking of ways we can preserve the environment. CGI gives us opportunities to help out with this cause that we may not otherwise get. It makes me feel like I’m doing more than just my day job – I’m contributing and making a positive impact on my local communities.”

Sue Davis, Senior Business Analyst

“Biodiversity is essential for survival of the human race and everyone, including companies, needs to play their part in restoring it. I personally have a keen interest in wildlife and conservation and really enjoyed this project. My team worked specifically on repointing the brickwork for the ‘bat hotel’ using traditional lime mortar.

A company’s green credentials are important both for  reputational reasons and to attract investors. I want to be proud of the company I work for, and I am proud to be part of CGI.

Ehsan Hussain, Front End Developer

“I was quite taken back by the level of social responsibility CGI shows. It’s one of CGI’s core values: giving back. Ultimately the Earth is our home and we have to do what we can to stop the ecosystem from becoming severely out of balance. With events like this, we can do our bit.

It makes me proud to work here and to be an ambassador of this company. Also, it’s a great way to bond with people from CGI, especially those you may not come across otherwise. It really does take the edge off and allows everyone to just be themselves; to have fun doing what they've volunteered to do whilst learning more about everyone else.”