Celebrating a 40 year long partnership with Special Olympics GB, helping people with intellectual disabilities

Posted On: 
7th September 2018

Holly Firmin writes about the importance of volunteering and reflects on the 15 volunteers from CCEP who attended the recent Special Olympics in Stirling, supporting the 1,400 athletes who took part.

"As a business, our work with local communities is of great importance to us and encouraging an inclusive and diverse environment is a top priority" - Holly Firmin, GB Community Partnerships Manager, Coca-Cola European Partners

As the longest standing partner of the Special Olympics GB (SOGB) we are closely aligned with their core values of inclusion and optimism.  At CCEP we understand the importance of fostering these types of partnerships to encourage positive change. It is our privilege to be part of something as inspirational as the SOGB.

The charity provides a phenomenal service, with year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities, helping to improve self-esteem, develop friendships and enhance wellbeing for people of all ages.

This year saw a total of 15 volunteers from CCEP attend the Games in Stirling to support the 1,400 athletes from across Great Britain and international programmes who took part. In my role as GB Community Partnerships Manager I was hugely proud to oversee the volunteering team. 

Witnessing the achievements made possible by all the coaches and volunteers who were involved, reminded me just how vital volunteering is. For me it brings to light our sense of community and the wonderful opportunity we have to empower the 1.5 million people with intellectual disabilities in Great Britain. 

The commitment the volunteers have and the joy they feel at being part of activities which enable people with intellectual disabilities to transform their lives is humbling. I know that being part of these events will help inspire our CCEP volunteers to continue to engage with the charity and link up with their local Special Olympics clubs.

I believe it is essential we highlight the importance of volunteering and how it can help to drive positive change for organisation’s like SOGB.  We aimed to do this by creating a short film with athletes, coaches and our employees sharing their own volunteering stories. The film can be found here and my hope is that it encourages others to get involved. 

Volunteering will continue to be an important part of the business for CCEP. Not only does it continue to strengthen the relationships we have with long term partners such as Special Olympics GB but it provides an opportunity for our colleagues to use their skills and attributes to make a genuine difference. 

We’re extremely pleased to be supporting the fantastic work of Special Olympics GB and helping athletes to prepare for the Anniversary Games. As a business, our work with local communities is of great importance to us and encouraging an inclusive and diverse environment is a top priority. Working with SOGB has therefore been a natural fit for us and a much-valued partnership over the last 40 years. The atmosphere at the Games is always incredibly uplifting and inspiring, and we look forward to watching the athletes in action and continuing our support of SOGB for many years to come.