#FridayForGood, May 2016: EMEA

Monday, 16 May 2016

Twice a year, Twitter employees dedicate a portion of their day to volunteering and altruism as part of #FridayForGood. On Friday, May 6th, employees across the globe were involved in the first #FridayForGood of 2016. Read some of the highlights from our offices dotted across EMEA.

Our EMEA HQ has embraced #FridayForGood and over the years it’s become an integral part of the culture, as managers lead their teams in philanthropic efforts beyond the walls of the office or by inviting the local community to join us. This time, we worked with 49 nonprofit organisations, saw a participation rate of almost 70% and clocked up over 237 volunteer hours.

Eager as some employees were to get going, Thursday saw a group leave the office for the scenic Wicklow mountains. There they were met by representatives from Native Woodland Trust and planted saplings for an entire morning, replenishing a hillside grove with hundreds of trees.

We started Friday with a bucket collection on the street for our Charity of the Year, ReachOut.com. ReachOut.com works in the mental health sector, dedicating their efforts to young people in the online space. As the first of three groups of collectors went to the streets of Dublin’s city centre, representatives from other NGOs began to arrive at HQ for a training session where they learned about the latest product developments from Twitter, Periscope and Vine and how these could be put to use in their campaigns. This was followed by an expert panel discussion on the relationship between young people and healthy use of social media platforms.

This deliberate focus on mental health was also reflected in our ReachOut mindfulness classes, where employees donated €5 to receive instruction from a guru, and #SweetTweets, the anti-mean Tweets among colleagues. For #SweetTweets, each employee was encouraged to write kind comments about their colleagues in the form of Tweet on note paper. These were then displayed in the office and the authors were encouraged to leave a donation to ReachOut while writing their comment.

As the NGOs received their training, our HR team took a short walk over to JobCare, a centre for jobseekers looking to upskill and hone their interviewing technique.

Later in the afternoon, a diverse group of teenagers from all across the country came to the office for a lengthy session on digital literacy and entrepreneurship. This was led by Stephen McIntyre, Managing Director of the Dublin office and VP of EMEA Online Sales, and Mark Little, VP of Media for EMEA. They were then invited to pitch to the senior leadership team who picked a winning team and runners up.

Meanwhile, two students from Junior Achievement Ireland were shadowing volunteers from various teams while other employees ventured out to donate blood in our local clinic.

The day ended with internal fundraising efforts from our @TwitterDublin band and a spectacular and valiant Senior Leadership Lip Sync Battle, all in aid of ReachOut.com.

Over in the UK, we were excited for our developers to welcome three groups of young women from different faith backgrounds as part of the Near Neighbours project. Working together, they were introduced to coding and web development, using HTML and CSS, and employing tools like Inspect Element to embed Tweets into a web page.

Out of the office, a team of volunteers worked with our partners, DotEveryone, to help a range of charities and local groups build up their digital skills, as well as answer questions about using Twitter and online safety.

Sharing our expertise with social causes is a major part of #FridayForGood, so members of the Brand Strategy, Research, Sales and Media teams worked with the National Citizen Service and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy to help them understand how to make the most of Twitter and reach a wider audience.

We also worked with Yes Futures to discuss careers in tech, interview skills and diversity with a group of young people from a London school.

The Twitter Spain team spent a day in the Fundación Carmen Pardo Valcarce center, focused on the community of people with mental disabilities. The team joined the center’s workers at the bakery where they prepare candy cakes for birthdays, weddings and businesses.

The other half of the team spent some time in the center’s furniture workshop, where only handmade items are crafted. Afterwards, the whole team headed to their urban gardening project.

The Netherlands (BeNeLux)
Our BeNeLux team embarked on a fundraising run with the benefits going to the Dutch Cancer Foundation (KWF). With 13 people running 5K each, the team collected more than €650 to support the organisation’s efforts to eradicate the disease.

The @TwitterFrance team held their #FridayForGood a slightly earlier and helped Emmaüs Solidarité (@EMMAUSolidarite) restore a shelter for migrants. Beyond the rehabilitation of the site, this day was an opportunity to share lunch and quality time with the people living at the shelter.

Continuing to the relationship that was established last year with the Fratelli di San Francesco association, the Twitter Italy team decided to meet again with the refugees from conflict zones that the organisation hosts. After the museum experience of last year, the team had promised a recreational activity and so they booked a football field and made a mini-tournament of three teams: Twitter, San Francisco Association and Radio 105 DJs.

Our German team partnered with the organisation Pestalozzi Stiftung - Hamburg to take a group of eighteen kids to the Hamburg Zoo. The team spent the day interacting with the young children who look to the Pestalozzi Stiftung - Hamburg foundation for support. The organisation supports families and young children who face difficult situations, such as broken homes or economic hardships. For most kids, it was their first time to the zoo!

Emine Etili provided Twitter 101 training for Turkish NGOs participating in Kadir Has University’s Digital Content Certificate Program. The session was designed to continue our commitment to tool civil society organisations and to provide them with the tips and tricks to better amplify their campaigns.