"Volunteering has grown my belief in the ability to change what seems impossible and difficult."

December 11, 2023

During November, 30 colleagues from the Mizuho London office volunteered their time and effort to support charity partner, Little Village, at their distribution hub in Hounslow, London. We spoke to those colleagues that attended to find out how the day went and why living Mizuho’s values is important to them.

Since 2006, Mizuho colleagues have participated in Mizuho Volunteer Day (MVD), volunteering in their local communities as part of Mizuho's global month? of community service.

“As our official charity partner, it was heart-warming to see first-hand how Little Village make such a significant impact to the families that need their support,” said Caitlin Pallett, Sustainability Strategy team and Secretary for Mizuho in London’s Charity Committee.

Colleagues from the London office spent the day sorting donations of children’s clothing into the appropriate age, gender and seasonal categories, ready to be packed and distributed.

Little Village runs a network of baby banks across London, collecting, sorting and passing on essential pre-loved, good quality donations in order to support families with children under the age of five living in poverty.

Caitlin continued, "I was touched by Little Village's values of love, solidarity, sustainability and thriving. These link back to Mizuho's corporate philosophy of helping to improve society and communities where we do business, and we feel honoured to do just this through our ongoing partnership with Little Village.”  

Speaking to colleagues who volunteered, we asked them how they found the day, and how activities like this align with Mizuho’s core values.


Name: Guy Cornelius
Role: Head of Sales, Managing Director
Department: Markets, EMEA

“I did not really know what to expect with regard to the Little Village volunteering day, but it was amongst the best experiences I have had so far at Mizuho. We were all extremely moved by the scale of the need that the charity cater to and the passion of the people who run the organisation. Whilst the enormity of the need is by far and away the most important aspect, I can assure everyone else within Mizuho that having the opportunity to play just a small part in helping made us all feel amazing about ourselves, our colleagues who were taking part, and our firm.”

“We have the opportunity now to show one of our core value of Agility - in action: families that Little Village help urgently require beds, mattresses, children’s’ winter clothing and nappies. Please dig deep so we can help fund that right now; cold weather is coming and too many people are living in atrocious conditions.”


Name: Melanie Martin
Role: Business Manager, Vice President
Department: Banking COO

I’ve taken part in a few Volunteer Days over the years at Mizuho, but I have to say the experience at Little Village was one of the best!

Our morning started with an introduction to the work Little Village do from Barb and Dave, who’s enthusiasm I found to be infectious. Hearing them speak with such passion about their achievements and goals, really stirred the emotions. We continued with a tour of the warehouse and hearing stories from members of the Little Village team, on how the work they were doing really impacts people’s lives was humbling.

As a team, we were all touched, to hear of a recently received claim, from a single parent needing help for her four-year-old triplets. I’m sure I wasn’t alone, in having a giant lump in my throat as I tried to hold back the tears. Little Village couldn’t help, as at this point, they didn’t have any winter clothes for girls in this age bracket.

With this at the forefront of minds, we were shown our task for the day. Sorting donations, into appropriate age, gender, and season. The importance of the quality items had been stressed to us and as the day went by, I felt delight at finding a bag filled with warm winter jumpers and a coat, that could be gifted to a small child this Christmas.

Well done to all the volunteers for managing to sort through everything Little Village set for us! Knowing that we could a make a small difference to struggling families really spurred us on. I can’t express how rewarding it was at the end of the day to know that through our efforts, clothes had been found for the triplets and many other families in need.


Name: Clara Gnanavadivel
Role: Regulatory Reporting, Analyst
Department: Finance

The Mizuho Volunteer Day event is very important to me as it allows me to do something rewarding and something different to my daily tasks. It is an incredible opportunity to meet new people and grow your network, which I think is very important for someone like me as I have just completed my first year at Mizuho.

This volunteering opportunity has allowed me to be creative, completing new tasks with no prior experience and enhancing my communication skills as I interact with different people and gain a better understanding of how the charity is able to fulfil its goals.


Name: Iwona Maslanka-Marzec
Role: Facilities Assistant, Analyst
Department: Facilities Management

“I grew up with the value of giving your time to less vulnerable ones would only do the best for you. There is nothing more rewarding than feeling of making a difference and contributing to a good purpose.

Volunteering has grown my confidence and belief in the ability to change what on many occasions seems impossible and difficult. During the Mizuho Volunteer Day at the Little Village Hub, we had a great time working together on sorting the massive wall of bags with clothes (which were disappearing with a blink of an eye!) and finding the most needed item for winter season was uplifting and rewarding.

I strongly believe that through committing to provide the best of yourself and care we are cultivating integrity. Our work and behaviour reflects on our true personal values and has influence on the way we live our life.”


Name: Viktor Toth
Role: Regulatory Reporting Projects, Vice President
Department: Finance

“At Mizuho, passion is one of our core values which helps the company to achieve sustained growth and to drive positive change. I am passionate about adding value to our community by providing meaningful help with a positive purpose and impact.

The Mizuho Volunteer Day in November offered me an opportunity to turn my passion into action. We provided help to children and families that are less fortunate and are in need of clean clothes, buggies, equipment and objects for infants. Besides action, the day also helped to enrich my understanding about the lives and struggles of children and families who come from a deprived background.

Volunteering your time to support a cause you are passionate about is something you will never regret, and it will positively impact your perspective for the rest of your life.”

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