Citi bank has held its 12th annual Global Community Day as Canary Wharf employees get involved in volunteering projects across the capital.

The volunteering drive encourages staff to help out in the wider community, and is held at branches across the world with more than 100,000 Citi volunteers in 500 cities taking part this year.

Citi’s head of community affairs in Canary Wharf, Rachael Barber, said staff were involved in a range of projects including CV workshops, talks at schools, gardening, building and litter picking throughout June, including in east London areas such as Mile End Park, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and the Walton Estate.

She said: “It’s so important to be a part of the community and make a contribution. Particularly in the current climate, it’s really important that we play a role.

“Some of the organisations we work with say they just couldn’t function without volunteers, because they don’t have the money to pay for staff. They really rely on volunteers and so it’s important to help them, and it helps us to know that we really are making a difference.

Citi volunteers muck in

“From our offices in Canary Wharf, you can see from the windows that there’s a space that looks very different to the rest of Canary Wharf. It’s really good to see people go out there and make a difference to a community that exists on their doorstep.”

Head of Citi Private Bank for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Luigi Pigorini, volunteers every year and helped to repair and rebuild the Slade Gardens Adventure Playground in Stockwell with his team on Friday, June 16.

Their tasks included replacing damaged wooden structures and painting new ones, clearing the wildlife area, laying woodchip and gardening.

Luigi said: “It’s always important to realise that we have to have a place in the community, so that we are known not just for the work activities we do but also the social activities, and how we help the communities we work and live in.

Citi volunteers on a litter pick

“Some of these projects aren’t very well funded and so you know you’re making a real difference. Often we get letters from residents thanking us for what we’ve done, and it’s so gratifying to hear that you’ve helped people like that.

“You get to go and get involved in the community, but you also get to spend a whole day with your team in a non-work environment. There’s no hierarchy. Everyone is just helping each other and you get to see people in their element. It’s great.”

Global Community Day was held on Saturday, June 10, with over one hundred people volunteering in Mile End Park and others helping clear rubbish out of the Thames in Battersea. The volunteering will continue throughout June.

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