Kindred United is a group of employees volunteering in various events and activities that support employee engagement and Kindred’s ambitions to give back to the communities we operate in. In this interview, we speak to our Kindred United group leader in Malta, to learn how they have allocated time and resources this year. Our local Office Manager, Keith Caruana, leads the Kindred United group and has been with Kindred for 5 years.
Keith, can you tell us about the Kindred United group in Malta?
We are a diverse group of volunteers with different backgrounds and skills at the service of our colleagues. We are energetic, we love events, love being around people and make a positive impact on the local communities that we are in.
Tell us about the team, how are you organised?
We have around 10 team members who are assigned to different projects and areas of focus. Being a volunteer means that employees can contribute as much time as they are able to while giving priority to their work commitments. It’s fairly easy to find volunteers as being part of the Kindred United is fun and rewarding. You can only vibrate the energy you genuinely feel within the group.
How do you choose activities?
We try to assign projects according to personal preferences and passions. For example, if an employee loves animals, they’ll be put in charge of a CSR initiative involving volunteering for a local animal Non-Governmental Organisation (charity). People are more motivated to contribute their time and effort if they love what they do. We are very active with events and initiatives, - there is always something happening at the Malta office!
Can you talk us through the activities you’ve arranged this year?
We organised many events and initiatives but the ones we are most proud of are the following:
For this project, 950 meals were prepared by our in-house caterer Thomas Franks, with the help of our employee volunteers. The meals were then donated to people in need: migrants, the elderly and health care workers. We also filled our own cars with boxes of oranges and moved our fresh orange juice machine to a home for the elderly during the lockdowns.
RMJ Horse Rescue
RMJ Horse Rescue provide a dignified retirement to ex-racing horses and help in their rehoming in central Europe. We volunteered several times and organised four clean-ups and even sponsored our own ‘Kindred stable.’ We also put on a BBQ food fundraiser and utilised our catering equipment. This initiative felt particularly important as horseracing is part of our core business. We are so proud to support RMJ Horse Rescue in this work.
What type of feedback have you received?
The feedback has been amazing. In fact, it was visible in our local engagement survey results, which show that our employees are highly engaged. Although statistical success is important, we mostly enjoy the qualitative approach which fulfils our hearts. That smile at a Christmas lunch in the office, or a nice one-liner dropped in our chatbox serves as fuel to the flame of passion driving our volunteers.
In your local community, are there any areas you feel can benefit from the support Kindred United can offer and what are your plans for next year?
We always try to follow what happens locally and especially tap into areas where our industry might be involuntarily contributing to an issue. Every Christmas we collect food for the ‘Foodbank Lifeline Foundation Malta’, who feed over 80 families and individuals every week.
We are still analysing what the local community requires for next year and although the situation might change. Climate change will be a major area of focus, particularly with recent news on local water shortages and environmental shifts over the past summer and a general lack of trees in local communities. We will also have a special focus on human stories which remain central to what we do.