Financial support for employees
Intensive home training gives good results with the Lombard family
”Bis” and an accompanying gesture. Olivia is hungry. Although 6 years old, she has difficulty expressing herself like same-age children. This is because she is affected by a very rare disease that slows her development (language, motor, and cognitive skills). She has now learnt 50 words (on average, her age-peers have a vocabulary of 5,000-10,000 words). This is why her family knows that ”bis” and a certain gesture mean: food.
Charlotte Lombard, an employee of VELUX A/S in Kolding, Denmark, took a leave of absence last summer to devote her full attention to home training and family life. She trained intensively with Olivia throughout the day in order to give her development a boost in the right direction – and now there was also time for the family when Olivia’s older sister, Astrid, came home from school and when her father returned from work. The whole family was behind the project, even though it meant that Charlotte was devoting most of her time and attention to helping Olivia.
Olivia has now made progress in several areas: Her vision, motor skills, and balance have improved, and her language has developed so that the family is now able to have short conversations – and she is looking forward to starting school after the summer holiday.
The grant from the Employee Foundation was spent on consultations and a personalised training programme for Olivia, and not least, an extended weekend break where the whole family could relax and have fun: in the autumn they went to Disneyland Paris – which was Olivia’s older sister Astrid’s long-held wish.
Michał Bogacz is a real Gyro Gearloose. He studies robotics at Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
His family teases him about his room looking like the laboratory from the cartoon Dexter’s Laboratory with robots and gizmos all over. The coolest project he is currently working on is a Mars Rover (robot vehicle with a robot arm), which will be used for training students in programming at the new robotics unit. The robot is controlled by means of a glove which Michał has helped develop.
It was a bit of a coincidence that Michał chose to study robotics. In fact, he intended to do biology and chemistry at high school, but accidentally ticked off mathematics and physics! So, the road was paved for technology, and along the way, robots caught his interest. “In many disciplines, human reactions impact outcomes. This is not the case with robotics: a robot doesn’t make mistakes – if it does something wrong, then it’s down to a mistake in my programming. I like that”, enthuses Michał.
Michał enjoys teaching, so he tutors students to make a living while studying. He is also a volunteer at a socio-therapeutic drop-in-centre in his hometown. When Michał completes his education in February, his future career path is yet to be decided. But it might be within neural networks or machine learning, which is his latest passion.
The funding from the Employee Foundation was invested in parts and materials for the robots he has developed. Michał’s father works for VELUX Polska Sp. z o.o., Poland.
DONATIONS IN 2018
In 2018, we made grants worth EUR 1.2 million altogether.
386 donations worth EUR 0.9 million were made to current or retired employees in need of assistance in distressed circumstances or who applied for a grant for their children’s education or training.
1,000 employees received grants for devices in connection with our Healthy Habits campaign.
115 donations worth almost EUR 0.3 million were made in support of projects in the communities where the Group’s companies operate.
School kitchen gives great joy to 200 pupils
In the autumn of 2018, thanks to the support of the Employee Foundation, a newly-built school kitchen was opened at Velké Bielice in Slovakia. The kitchen is used by almost all of the school’s 200 pupils.
This school year, a lifestyle course was introduced in the curriculum to teach pupils about food preparation, food economics and nutrition in order to prepare them for a healthy, independent future. The kitchen is used to train the pupils in practical cookery skills.
In the summer, the plan is to mount a cookery-themed summer camp. The children of VELUX employees from Partizánske Building Components-SK, Slovakia, will be attending this summer camp.
New sports equipment for FEB Judo Club
FEB Judo Club in France, established by a group of friends in 1982, is a small local community club with 71 members ranging in age from 4 to 72. David Loquet from VKR France plays an active role in the club. He started training 14 years ago with his three-year old daughter, and he, his wife, and their two daughters now attend the club every week.
Judo Taiso (a gentle type of training for everybody regardless of age and ability) is more than just physical training in that it also instils values such as self-control, respect, courage, humility, honesty, friendship, politeness, and honour. With the grant from the Employee Foundation, the club was able to buy much-needed training equipment like skipping ropes and resistance bands.