How two friends turned a passion for volunteering into a career move
June 10, 2019
Josi Fox and Tori Cave are the driving force behind Accenture’s partnership with Eat Up, feeding hungry school kids in disadvantaged schools. As a pair of analysts who have been in the business for less than a year, they have made a huge impact by consulting for a cause.
Team photo with Eat Up’s facilitator, Chris Bateman (far left) and our ready-made 1,524 sandwiches to be delivered to NSW schools in need.
TORI: Josi and I started at Accenture around the same time and had previously known each other from high school. We naturally joined forces and started to look for opportunities to contribute to the culture and community of the team we had joined. It has been a great experience starting this Eat Up initiative with a great friend and colleague.
We got involved with Eat Up because our Melbourne colleagues were challenging the Sydney team to find a charity of choice to support. Both Josi and I have always been drawn to volunteering and giving back to the community – particularly supporting causes like OzHarvest and volunteering to help homelessness. So Josi and I put our hands up and reached out to Accenture's Corporate Citizenship Team. They knew that Eat Up was looking to expand into New South Wales, and so put us in touch with the Eat Up team.
We were instantly drawn to Eat Up’s cause. Lyndon, Eat Up’s founder discovered that 1 in 7 children were showing up to school hungry every day. So he set out to change this by making and delivering thousands of lunches for hungry children across Australia. He originally started by making sandwiches for students independently – and then the not-for-profit started to take a life of its own. More schools were contacting him, and more corporate volunteers were willing to donate their time to make sandwiches for hungry school kids.
Josi and I were excited about the opportunity to work with Eat Up, not just to create a team of Accenture volunteers to make sandwiches, but also to participate in skilled volunteering initiatives and work towards Accenture’s ethos of Making A Difference. As part of our commitment, Eat Up effectively became our not-for-profit client which was extremely rewarding. We’d just started our careers in consulting, and there we were engaging with potential clients to form strategic partnerships.
For me it has been an eye-opening experience, we were exposed to how a managing director works in a new engagement. There’s a whole lot of planning and preparation, stakeholder management, and critical thinking involved to make sure a project is successful.
Josi and I worked closely with Eat Up stakeholders and identified three strategic pieces of work:
Josi Fox (left) and Victoria Cave (right) hosting Eat Up’s third sandwich making event at the Accenture Sydney office.
To date, we’ve nearly completed Stream 1 of our first skilled volunteering project. It has been a great experience to work closely with Josi on such a meaningful initiative. She’s very good at strategic and future-thinking, client insights/analysis and co-creation. We work so well together because we trust each other and our work, and we know where each other’s strengths lie. That’s the beauty of it, and that’s why it’s been so fulfilling and successful!
JOSI: Before starting at Accenture, I wasn’t aware that they encouraged and supported these types of philanthropic partnerships, so when we began our engagement with Eat Up, I didn’t expect it to grow so quickly.
For the past year, we’ve been running the skilled volunteering component of our engagement with Eat Up just as we would with a regular client. Our work takes the same shape and form – we collaborate with Eat Up through workshops, calls and various engagement sessions to deliver value to the not-for-profit – always ensuring that the quality of outputs is at the same high standard. This has been a fantastic opportunity for Tori and I to build core consulting skills whilst contributing to such an important cause.
The glad wrap station.
It’s been great working with Tori. She’s really good at stakeholder engagement, project management in an agile environment and has a keen eye for detail. Our different strengths complement each other well.
Working with Eat Up strategically has allowed us to engage with people from a range of expertise areas and industries within Accenture. This has been an amazing way to observe and learn different ways of working, leadership styles and workshop techniques, as well as meet and build relationships with people from all over the business.
It’s fantastic to reflect on how the awareness of what we’re doing with Eat Up has grown. From our conversations with volunteers, it’s clear that most people have no idea child hunger in Australia is a problem. It’s a shock to realise children are coming to school hungry and it really hits close to home – especially for parents. We’re growing our sandwich making numbers with each session – our record is 1,500 sandwiches made and delivered to children in need throughout NSW. We’re thinking of starting sessions for parents and their kids to help raise awareness from an early age.
We’re super grateful for this opportunity – for Accenture supporting us to own an initiative like this and for all the expertise our colleagues are offering us. It’s such a great chance to give back to an amazing cause while building our skills, networks and personal brands.
“Accenture’s Sydney Products team have very quickly become one of our most valued supporters. The team’s generosity and contribution includes both donating their time making thousands of sandwiches, and their insights and guidance on our growth, efficiencies and operations.” Lyndon Galea, Founder, Eat Up
The sandwich making assembly line.