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Last year, Mitel announced an annual floating holiday called Citizen’s Day that each employee can take to engage in activities that help create a more just and inclusive world. It is intended to provide our employees with opportunities to volunteer or raise money for charities, attend protests or social/political events, volunteer at their local polling locations, celebrate a day that honors religious or cultural heritage, and more. Mitel recognizes that our employees want time to be involved in communities other than work, and this holiday gives them the chance to participate in activities they are passionate. Our goal is to drive social responsibility in a way that is personally meaningful, and our employees take advantage of Citizen’s Day to do some truly great and impactful things.

One of these employees, Matthew Robinson, Manager of Business Development here at Mitel, utilized Citizen’s Day to support and raise money for the UK charity Macmillian Cancer Support through, “The Longest Day of Golf.” Matthew talks more about what the day is, what it and the charity means to him, and more below:

Soon after I joined Mitel in April 2020, Mary announced that the business would support their employees to take a day off for Citizen’s Day, with the idea being to give your day up to give something back to the community.

image of Matthew Robinson for Citizens Day


Rewind to 2019, myself and some former colleagues put our names down to participate in “The Longest Day of Golf” in support of the UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support. What is The Longest Day of Golf you ask? Essentially it is 72 holes of golf on foot. Any golfers out there will appreciate that a round of 18 holes on foot can take anywhere between 3 and 4.5 hours to complete, so multiply that by 4 and you have The Longest Day of Golf. Given the approximate 16 hours to complete this event, the longest day of the year is chosen to ensure you can fit all four rounds in daylight hours. After a successful, but tough first event, I was delighted when Mary announced that employees of Mitel could participate in Citizen’s Day, which meant I could nominate myself and my team to take part in this challenge again. 

Thinking back to June 2020 and how I felt after 72 holes of golf, 50000+ steps, 22 miles, 400+ swings of a golf club, and copious lost balls, I must wonder why I was so keen to do it again for a third consecutive year. Well, the truth is, yes, I do love golf, but aside from that, raising money for a charity so close to my heart is a huge motivator to getting it done! Macmillan Cancer Support is a registered charity in England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and operating in Northern Ireland, offering emotional, physical, and financial support from the moment someone is diagnosed with cancer. Statistically 1 in 2 of us will be affected by cancer in our lifetime which is why the existence of charities such as Macmillan are so important. Without donations and volunteers this type of support would not be available to those diagnosed and to those families who have been affected by the loss of someone close. Between the four of us who participate, we have all experienced first-hand what Macmillan has to offer and this spurs us on to keep competing in The Longest Day of Golf.

Having just successfully completed the event on the 22nd June 2021, I have said to myself that I can’t do it again, but I know when it comes round to it again next year, I will be the first one to enter my team again! The perception is that this is just a day out with friends playing golf, for the first 18 holes I’d probably agree with you, but at around the 27th hole, this fun day out soon becomes a reality. Let’s just say I am not in the best shape of my life. I am no longer a teenager, food has taken priority over the gym, and with having had 6 operations to my right knee when I was in my twenties, the reality is that this event is a strain on my body in every sense. Swelling to my knee making it difficult to walk, blisters on my toes, chafing in places I didn’t know existed and still 45 holes to go before I finish! By this point, my golf has gone out of the window, I am using unnecessary energy and steps to look for my balls in the rough. I am hungry, I am thirsty, and I just want to get home. Oh, I forgot – I have to drive myself home too… I am not looking for sympathy, this is of course my choice, but I do want people to realize what we sacrifice as a team to raise money and participate in Citizen’s Day. 

In the three years of participating, we have raised nearly £10,000 towards this charity, and it is very rewarding to think that I am giving something back.  If you haven’t participated in Citizen’s Day previously, I recommend you try it -- it can be anything from volunteering at local school, helping at a pet shelter or simply running an event to raise funds or a charity. If you don’t have any ideas, you could always try The Longest Day of Golf! 

image of Matthew Robinson for Citizens Day 

 

We’re so excited to see Mitel employees like Matthew taking advantage of Citizen’s Day to pursue causes close to their hearts, and we hope that he and many others continue to feel free to continue to use the floating holiday to engage with their communities, heritage, and passions. Thank you, Matthew, for sharing your story!


Matt Robinson

Manager, Business Development

Matt Robinson has 24 years B2B and B2C sales experience selling solutions to Tier 1 Financial Institutions, Utilities and Telecommunications firms, and joined Mitel in April 2020 as the Manager for the International Business Development team. Matt is based at Mitel’s Bracknell office in the UK and outside of work is an avid sports fan of soccer and golf and enjoys travelling.

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