Employees helping employees
Celebrating five years
of Solidarity Point,
a space where Repsol
co-workers meet up
and support each other
In a company of over 25,000 people, there is sure to be someone who has experienced what you are going through right now that can help you on your journey
Coordinator of Solidarity Point
We all go through hard times in our personal lives and sometimes we don't have anyone to talk to about it, or simply to listen. But if we know someone who has gone through the same thing and can help us, the problem becomes easier to handle.
This idea inspired Marga Lozares to create the Solidarity Point, a meeting place where Repsol employees can voluntarily and anonymously share their experiences to help co-workers that are going through similar situations.
It was Marga’s own personal story that inspired her to create the project. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of 2010, she realized that she needed to hear about the experiences of other women who had gone through the same thing. Marga got help talking to a fellow co-worker and a Repsol supplier who had both also gone through breast cancer.
That was what gave her the idea to set up the Solidarity Point. Marga reflects that “in a company of over 24,000 people, there is sure to be someone who has experienced what you are going through right now and can help you on your journey”. With this in mind, when she went back to work at the start of 2012, she started taking the first steps to create the Solidarity Point.
Two of her co-workers were also jumped on board: Diana Gómez and Marita Alesanco. Today, the three of them coordinate the volunteers and manage the support requests.
During the first five years of the initiative, over 55 co-workers have turned to them in search of support, and around 100 employees have come on board to help those in need. In total, over 350 cases of support or services have already been provided. Marga tells us, “We call these actions services, but they almost always end up turning into friendships.”
Although it was initially set up to provide support to employees going through breast cancer or chemotherapy, the type of help offered through the Solidarity Point has widened. Over the last five years, the service has connected co-workers who were undergoing major surgery, people who have family members suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and mothers and fathers of children with ADHD or Down Syndrome. Diana tells us, “We have also put expectant mothers who had hundreds of questions in contact with other mothers, as well as connecting people who needed to practice sign language.”
From meeting up for a coffee or going to their homes for a chat, to accompanying them to organizations where they can get the specific information they need, help comes in many different forms. Marga concludes, “It's hard when we dig up stories about things that have happened to us, but when your story is able to help someone, it makes it all worthwhile.”