Proud at Deloitte Network team photo

On 12 February 2024, I had the pleasure of being part of Pilotlight Impact Day hosted by Deloitte’s LGBTQ+ network, Proud. This programme which is a part of Deloitte’s societal impact initiative 5 Million Futures, is an action-packed day of idea development to amplify charity impact. In this particular edition, the focus was on making a tangible difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ communities.  Also coinciding with LGBT+ History Month, the event brought together around 40 Pilotlighters — skilled volunteers from Deloitte to work alongside three impactful charities and community interest companies: The Love Tank, Just Like Us, and Living Free UK.

The day was marked by intense collaboration as Deloitte’s highly-skilled Pilotlighters delved into the pressing challenges faced by these charities, ranging from public health issues, education, homophobia, discrimination, and inclusion. Throughout the day, Pilotlighters engaged in Q&A sessions with leadership teams from the charities, conducted research, debated strategies, and crafted recommendations to address critical needs such as income generation and diversification strategies. I was lucky enough to facilitate one of the charity projects. I can totally attest to the quality of the contributions and the debates in each of the groups, as well as to their commitment to the charities, their mission, and their values.

Heartfelt impact

Amid all the creative problem-solving, participants found themselves deeply inspired by the mission and impact of the charities. Natalie Chigariro, a member of Deloitte's Proud Network and volunteer lead for Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures relationship with Just Like Us, expressed the impact the day made on her:

I felt really inspired and moved by the work done by the charities.

Lionel Choo, a Manager in Travel, Hospitality, and Leisure Advisory, shared his reflections on the supportive and collaborative atmosphere of the day, emphasising the positive impact of working towards shared goals alongside like-minded colleagues:

Coming into the day you may have some anxiety about whether you will have valuable things to contribute, but at the end of the journey you feel quite different. Everybody was so nice and gentle, supportive of each other and the process. Everyone aligned with the same end goals.

Warren Bayliss, Associate Director at Risk and Advisory, offered a poignant perspective, drawing from his personal experiences of isolation and lack of support as a young person:

"It's been very refreshing to see that there are charities now providing fantastic support not only to young people who have been harassed and bullied, but also to refugees, asylum seekers, and others in need of support for various reasons.

When I was asked why I had volunteered for the event, it reminded me of when I was growing up, and feeling very isolated at school. There was no social network, no support; you had to get by day after day with no one to provide support for mental health and other issues. I also remember when I started work, it was the same thing no one talked about these issues, there was no help or support; you had to get by and manage the best you could. Very occasionally, you might hear about someone in the same situation as you, but reaching out was challenging, risky, and difficult.

That's why I decided to come today, to give my support to people who are making their way in the world right now and need some help. The three charities that were here today are doing important work. It's great that Pilotlighters support that, and it's great that my employer supports it, because it makes me feel proud to work for an organisation that enables these really important activities."

Ben Weil, Programme Coordinator at The Love Tank, encapsulated the essence of the day with his reflection on the interconnectedness of individual and community health, which also refers back to the issues of isolation and empowerment that Warren pointed out in his testimony:

An individual is only as healthy as the community they live in.

Collaboration is the key to change

As the day came to a close, it was evident that the effect of Pilotlight Impact Day extended far beyond the confines of the event itself. The collaborative efforts of Deloitte's Proud Network and Pilotlight’s Partner Charities laid the groundwork for meaningful change and progress in the ongoing commitment to LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.

To the charities involved, all of us present on the day would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and best wishes for continued success in your vital work. And to the Proud at Deloitte Pilotlighters, congratulations on your dedication, compassion, and commitment to making a difference. Together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable world for us all.

Written by
Profile picture for user Matias Ilivitzky
Matias Ilivitzky
Project Manager - Pilotlight

Do more with your talent

This is about more than just supporting good causes. Transform your people by letting them help transform a charity. They’ll come back and run your business even better.

A black man sitting on a wall