What a difference a month makes

With social distancing and other restrictions in place this year, our volunteers were looking for new ways to reach people.

COVID-19 has affected all of us, but some of the pandemic’s most negative effects are felt amongst those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.

In May, more than 1,400 people from Deloitte embraced the opportunity to use their skills to support to others.

Through our Futures Month initiative, as part of our 5 Million Futures social impact goal, our people gave over 3,000 hours, to make a positive impact. All while working from home.

“With face-to-face volunteering not possible, we had a rethink,” said Deloitte’s responsible business director Claire Burton.

“The most important thing for us was to continue using our people’s skills to help those who needed it.”

The most important thing for us was to continue using our people’s skills to help those who needed it.
Claire Burton

Deloitte’s responsible business director

Meeting direct need

With the pandemic having presented so many skills and employment-related challenges, Futures Month activities were planned to directly meet these needs.

“At that time, the number of people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment-related benefits had increased by 110 per cent,” continued Claire.

“Lots of small businesses and charities were struggling to operate effectively. And so many school children had missed time in school.”

Among the help we offered, 154 of our volunteers gave advice to those out of work or at risk of redundancy. A further 47 coached 18 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), social enterprises and charities affected by the pandemic.

Continuing our support for marginalised groups in society, 531 of our people recorded audiobooks for visually impaired people and 71 volunteers created e-fact-cards on Black and LGBTQ+ role models, used on social media to educate people about important historical figures.

Debate Mate

Recognising that interrupted learning has had the largest negative impact on children from underprivileged backgrounds and low-income communities, over 650 of our people worked with students in Debate Mate sessions.

Pitching ideas relating to technology, climate change or their local community, the students were mentored to develop their critical thinking and communication skills.

“Helping children with their debating and pitching skills was really inspiring,” said Richard Houston, Senior Partner and CEO of Deloitte North and South Europe, who joined other members of the Executive Group for a Debate Mate session with Sacred Heart Secondary School Camberwell.

“Their enthusiasm and ideas were simply brilliant, and the session was definitely the highlight of my week! Volunteering gives our people an opportunity to develop their skills, give back to society, and make a difference for those who need it most.”

After a head-to-head in a finale, a team from St Angela's Ursuline School won the student pitch competition for 'Talk To Me' - an app for young people with a focus on wellbeing and positive mental health.

The prize was £1,000 of seed funding from Deloitte and a strategy session with an in-house team to help the pupils develop their idea further.

I’d like to say thank you for all your help, I don’t think I can describe just how positive it has been for me. My life is now definitely looking up with a bright, if a bit uncertain, future ahead of me with clear goals to head for and a fresh perspective which I definitely needed.
Futures Month participant

May 2021

Beyond May

“We're so proud of the difference that Futures Month has made to the people we set out to support,” Claire said.

And it hasn’t stopped there. While continuing to support over 70 existing school, charity and social enterprise partnerships, we have also set up a number of longer-term digitally enabled volunteering programmes with groups including Governors For Schools, Action Tutoring, TutorMate and Business in the Community.

“All of these will enable our people to keep volunteering their time and knowledge to help others remotely,” Claire concluded.

5 Million Futures

Deloitte is currently working with over 70 partner organisations across the UK, helping the communities they serve to access education and employment as part of the 5 Million Futures goal.

In FY2021, we impacted 356,337 Futures and contributed over £6.85 million to society through fundraising, volunteering and pro bono.


Laura Parsons, PR senior manager
+44 20 7303 0885 | Email Laura

Sue Gibson, PR manager
+44 20 7303 3156 | Email Sue