Volunteering in the community

We give every employee at Standard Chartered three days of volunteer leave each year. There are no restrictions on how these days are used – as long as it’s something that’s going to benefit others. But we have many established partnerships for staff to explore. In Singapore, for instance, our HR team partners with a school called The Lighthouse which provides special education to children with visual impairment and hearing loss.


One of the reasons why I’ve stayed with the bank for ten years is that I’m a huge believer of giving back to society and our bank offers a great platform for this. I first joined in Shanghai, where I started volunteering as the China coordinator for Seeing is Believing, our flagship community programme that helps to tackle avoidable blindness and visual impairment across the globe. After relocating to Singapore to take up a new position in a different department, I wanted to continue with my volunteering activities. So I organised a couple of outings for pupils at the Lighthouse, as well as starting a programme with senior citizens to provide exercise classes that would help to prevent falls.

Now I’ve just completed my fifth visit to the Lighthouse School and I was so glad that the children greeted me as an old friend. Every visit to me is reflective and healing. Their smiling faces inspire me and remind me how grateful and humble we should be.

Giving back to society goes beyond the relationship between volunteer and recipient. It connects the whole bank to society and it’s a privilege to play a part in this. While driving commerce in our markets is how we do business, building sustainable social impacts in our communities is why we do it.