About 30,000 people took part in the 2015 Beijing Marathon
A guide, a narrator, a friend – as a volunteer Hongbin has many different roles. Hongbin, or Frank, as he likes to be known in English, is one of many HSBC employees in China and around the world who every year give up hours of their time to do voluntary work.
Frank currently volunteers for the Hongdandan Institute, a Beijing-based non-governmental organisation that helps people with visual disabilities. He has been a narrator, describing films for people who cannot see the on-screen action. Recently he became a team leader for the ‘You are my eyes’ programme, which saw him pair up with a visually impaired man to run 10 kilometres of a marathon.
“For the run we tied our wrists together,” says Frank, who is an assistant business development manager based in Beijing. “Good communication was the key. By talking to each other all the time we made sure we understood each other and ran at the right pace. It’s about helping your running partner to overcome their fears and achieve their goals.”
Frank and his running partner
Since joining HSBC in 2011, Frank has volunteered for other organisations too. He taught students about financial literacy while volunteering for Junior Achievement, a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills to succeed in life. Frank helped elderly people in a care home, getting his son involved in teaching internet skills. He is also involved in environmental issues, encouraging friends and family to participate in Earth hour.
Frank was a volunteer before he joined HSBC but he says it was really important to him that the Group has programmes set up to get employees involved in charitable work.
“I love volunteering and helping others is important to me. It’s about the power of doing public good,” Frank says. “And it’s good that HSBC encourages volunteering. It shows that we can not only aid economic development but we can also help society.”
Last year HSBC employees volunteered 304,555 hours during work time. Volunteering activities are organised on a country-by-country basis and there are hundreds of opportunities to get involved from youth and financial education programmes to environmental projects. HSBC supports many of the organisations in other ways too – in 2015 the bank donated USD205 million to charities around the world.
Here are a few of the ways HSBC volunteers are lending a hand:
In India, 115 people from the bank’s Global Service Centre in Vizag worked with Habitat for Humanity India to help rebuild a village that was devastated when Cyclone Hudhud struck in October 2014
Around the world, more than 6,700 employees have been trained as citizen scientists by environmental charity Earthwatch helping to collect valuable data on fresh water sources in their community
Between 2006 and 2015, some 6,500 people volunteered through HSBC’s Youth Opportunities Programme which aims to tackle child poverty through education projects