We have for some time now been taking advantage of 10% time or “Investment Time” here at Alliants. It’s an opportunity for people to take some time out of their working week to invest in themselves, the company or the wider community.
Typically for the first few weeks, this saw the developers naturally investing in Technology. Learning a new language, creating an app, or working on ideas for games etc.
For me, working very much in the wings of the company as internal recruiter, I always struggled to find something that I thought would be worthwhile, spending Friday afternoons flitting between Articles on how Tech recruitment has changed or learning a new way to write an advert or job spec, the idea of company investment time felt a little strange and at times strained for me.
A few weeks ago, during our investment time stand up (these happen every Friday after the team lunch) Nick Daniels pointed out to the team that this time should not just be used to continue learning technologies that were needed in the workplace but that we should broaden our horizons a little with it. The idea is that we invest in not just ourselves and Alliants but the community also. This can be through charity work, Education and anything else that will benefit a wider audience.
This triggered a thought in my mind, I Love to cook, and even if I say so myself I am quite good at it. I cook for Alliants every week so that we can have a team lunch every Friday. So I thought, why not extend this to the local community?
It has been well publicised since Jamie Oliver donned our screens a number of years ago, that it is now part of the national curriculum for primary children to learn cookery at school. What about the under 8’s in Infant School?
Certainly at our local infant school, cookery is encouraged but left to the PTA to arrange for parents to come in and take small classes. Many parents are too busy to take time out of their day to hold a cookery class and therefore there are always children who do not get the opportunity to cook. This is where Alliants have allowed me to step up and help. My Investment time is now being spent helping to ensure that all of the children get to spend time in the school kitchen.
This week, I took cookery for two small groups of 6 year olds. They were incredibly enthusiastic, very loud and full of great ideas! We spent some time talking about the best things to eat for Breakfast and what everyone’s favorite dinner was and then hit the kitchen to make individual cheesecakes (not my choice but I am working on the nutrition side of things one step at a time). I was delighted to spend time seeing these children get in the kitchen with such vigor and pride.
I will be in the Kitchen again with another 8 students next week and the week after until all the children at Hollybrook who haven’t had the opportunity to cook so far this year have made something to take home and sample!
At the end of the school year, we are hoping that I will be able to carry out a school assembly for students to go through what we have cooked and learned and how we can improve their understanding of nutrition and healthy choices.
So, I may not be learning a new technology with my investment time here at Alliants but I am delighted to be able to make a difference at this little Infant School in Southampton!