More than 1,100 URW Westfield staff from retail destinations across Europe and the United States volunteered to support their local community for a day in May.
In Austria, approximately 90% of URW Westfield staff volunteered with Caritas Österreich to help renovate a Viennese garden center that employs individuals with cognitive disabilities. The tasks involved building a pergola, creating a seating area, and participating in planting and harvesting activities.
Meanwhile, the Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier team in Germany visited the Wilden Wiesen wildlife preserve where they meticulously cut the grass by hand, using scythes to avoid disturbing the diverse animal and insect life in the area. Additionally, a local botanist delivered a lecture on the preserve’s biodiversity.
Czech Republic & Slovakia
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, URW Westfield volunteers focused on supporting social inclusion, equality, and cleaning up public spaces. Collaborating with organizations like Business for Society, Westfield Good Festival, and Depaul Slovakia, 70 employees volunteered more than 350 hours. Their efforts included painting and gardening, taking seniors for walks, and assisting with meal preparation for the homeless.
The Poland team extended their support to The Early Intervention Centre in Warsaw. They organized garden renovation works, created a sensory space for children, and established a herb garden. Alongside Zaczytani.org, an NGO promoting reading and education, the team also sorted books and prepared them for the local community.
In Sweden, 48 enthusiastic URW volunteers worked to clean a local marina, removing old tires, batteries, plastic rubbish, and other debris polluting the water. They also had the opportunity to listen to Oskar Kihlborg, the first Swede to climb Mount Everest.
Across the UK, URW teams collaborated with local non-profit organizations to revitalise community green spaces, support skill development programs for disadvantaged adults and individuals with disabilities, and volunteer at a specialist school for young people with autism and learning difficulties.
In France, URW teams engaged in four different initiatives, including forest maintenance, agroforestry farming support, job skills training for disadvantaged youth, and rehabilitating run-down areas within local communities.
In Spain, URW Westfield volunteers focused their efforts on transforming the Madrid headquarters of Avante 3, a charity supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities in achieving their life goals. A total of 87 URW volunteers participated in painting, fixing, cleaning, and gardening, ultimately enhancing the facilities for 155 guests and 20 staff members at Avante 3.
Meanwhile, in the United States, URW Westfield teams participated in a range of community projects. The Los Angeles-based team contributed to the mission of the LA Food Bank in fighting hunger, while Westfield Montgomery and Westfield Wheaton joined forces to support two emergency women’s shelters. Westfield Annapolis organized a toy drive for young patients at a Luminis Health medical center. The San Diego team undertook refurbishment activities at a local seniors’ center, and the Galleria at Roseville team volunteered at the Placer County Food Bank. Numerous other US colleagues also engaged in various community initiatives.
Launch to support URW Westfield’s Better Places 2030 policy, the volunteering initiative aims to promote social inclusion, preserve biodiversity around shopping centres, and align the group’s sustainability goals.
In addition to making a positive impact on local communities, the initiative provided an enjoyable opportunity for URW Westfield heroes to come together, with volunteers donating more than 8,000 hours of their time to support good causes.