AbbVie Irish workers give back to community in ‘Week of Possibilities’
Initiative is part of effort involving 8,000 AbbVie employees in more than 50 countries
Representatives from St Aidan’s community school in Tallaght, Dublin, and AbbVie Ireland at the school’s newly refurbished science lab, which was completed during the company’s 2017 Week of Possibilities. Photograph: Rob O’ Connor
Over the past few days more than 400 AbbVie employees have volunteered thousands of hours to improve and renovate schools in their local communities. Their efforts are part of the annual AbbVie Week of Possibilities volunteering programme.
Now very much established as a global AbbVie tradition, the Week of Possibilities was founded in 2014 and is funded in part by the AbbVie Foundation. AbbVie employees have expanded their commitment each year, giving 17,000 volunteer hours in 45 countries in 2015; 26,000 hours in 51 countries in 2016; and 33,000 hours in 57 countries in 2017.
The AbbVie Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of the underserved around the world through a commitment to building strong communities, sustainable health care systems and effective educational programmes.
This year, about 8,000 AbbVie employees in more than 50 countries will volunteer 36,000 hours assisting their local communities. Over the last five years, the foundation – along with AbbVie employee volunteers – has had an impact on nearly 19 million people around the world.
In Ireland, the Week of Possibilities initiative has been judged the leading corporate responsibility project at the Pharma Industry Awards in 2016 and has separately received commendations at the Irish Healthcare Awards and Chambers Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. Volunteering by employees has also contributed to the company being named the best workplace in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute.
“AbbVie understands that addressing the world’s health challenges requires a comprehensive and responsible approach,” says AbbVie general manager Todd Manning. “That’s why AbbVie is committed to going beyond medicine, not just developing innovative therapies but also playing a wider role in improving healthcare outcomes and local communities. In partnership with not-for-profit groups, AbbVie works to address challenges facing the underserved, particularly in education, through charitable giving as well as employee engagement. AbbVie employees demonstrate their deep commitment to giving back their communities through the company’s volunteering programmes.”
The company has joined forces with the national volunteer development agency, Volunteer Ireland. Together, they have planned and implemented Week of Possibilities projects in three communities in Cork, Sligo and Dublin – locations where the company has a major presence.
“This partnership ensures that AbbVie volunteer efforts align with the needs of their local communities,” Manning points out. “In all, employees from our plants and offices in Cork, Dublin and Sligo will volunteer almost 1,700 hours to improve and renovate schools in their local communities during the five-day Week of Possibilities initiative.”
Employees from AbbVie’s commercial offices in Citywest, Dublin are working on an extensive refurbishment of the autism unit facilities at Greenhills College in Dublin during the week-long initiative. A number of the students enrolled at the boys-only secondary school have autism needs and attend Greenhills College to avail of the school’s autism resource unit. Volunteers are working alongside school staff to upgrade the unit’s sensory room, library and kitchen to benefit the students with autism who attend the school.
Staff from AbbVie’s manufacturing plant in Cork are helping to upgrade facilities at the nearby St Aloysius College in Carrigtwohill. Their volunteer efforts include the cleaning and painting of classrooms; painting and resurfacing work in the school gardens; and the redecoration of a common room used by transition-year students.
In Sligo, AbbVie employees from the company’s medical devices centre in Ballytivnan and from the pharmaceutical plant on the Manorhamilton Road are contributing more than 1,000 hours to the refurbishment of St Edward’s National School in Ballytivnan. It is close to both AbbVie sites in Sligo and the aim is to help modernise and improve the overall look of the school.
“These activities reflect the AbbVie’s ongoing commitment to science education, and mean that students, teachers and service users will have stimulating and fit-for-purpose facilities when they return from their summer recess,” says Manning.
“The Week of Possibilities demonstrates our sincere commitment to giving back to our communities and people in need. These volunteer opportunities are critically important to who we are as a company and the fabric of our culture,” Manning adds. “As a company, we are also committed to leveraging our expertise in the field of science and business practices to help transform education in the communities in which we work, and our work this week reflects this ambition.”