Raising hope in Dublin community

March 11, 2020

​​Irish colleagues are inspiring disadvantaged students with career-boosting training as part of a special programme.

Our 13-person team in Dublin is working with more than 20 students from Blakestown Community School as part of Business In The Community Ireland, which champions the role businesses can play in supporting communities. It is also part of our CSR approach.

Bryan Samuels, our Learning & Development Business Partner, supported the programme by helping students with self-esteem, emotional intelligence and used VR tools to help boost their presentation skills and confidence.

We are also supporting young people to create great CVs and teaching interview skills so they are prepared to go for the jobs they want.

'We make a massive difference'

Paula Ronald, Sr Sales Manager Ireland, co-ordinates Office Depot Europe’s involvement with Business in the Community Ireland. She said: “The kids we work with are just fantastic. They bring loads of ideas, share their dreams and their participation is incredible. I go home feeling that Ireland has a great future with kids like this.”

“They really got into team building exercises which we ran and loved learning about their personality insights, emotional intelligence and goal-setting. If we could do this everywhere, we could make a massive difference. It really is sensational to see the impact it has on the kids.”

It is the second consecutive year that we’ve worked with the school. Over the next couple of months, the students will interview staff about their day jobs; have mock job interviews to prepare them for the real world of work and we will invite students to deliver presentations on the things they’ve learned.

Giving back to inspire the next generation

Cliona Fitzsimons, Regional Co-Ordinator for Business in the Community Ireland, said: “It is wonderful to watch the students engaging so well with the Office Depot team. They are getting comfortable visiting the offices now and are learning about the world of work in such a very positive manner. Kudos to Paula and her very welcoming team.”

Robert Baldrey, country manager for the UK & Ireland, said: “I truly believe that companies like us should be giving back to our communities in some way. This is an amazing example of us sharing invaluable experience, skills and knowledge to help inspire the next generation – and it’s terrific team building for our team in Dublin. Well done to everyone involved.”