CFT CRAL: restart and future initiatives

Interview with the CFT Cral President

In the interview below, Giulia Bertolini – Travel Manager and Cral President – tells us about the path taken by the CFT Cral since the recovery after the pandemic. A long way has been covered since then, with a new board and many initiatives for an even richer future to implement.

What kind of mood was CRAL in when it resumed after the pandemic period?

The pandemic period was a time of huge upheaval for everyone. First the lock-down and then a long phase of working from home, which involved most of the colleagues, almost completely wiped out interpersonal relationships and opportunities to get together.

When the new board of directors took office at the beginning of the year, we wanted to seize the opportunity to relaunch CRAL’s activities, which had been frozen for so long, by offering new opportunities to meet and have fun.

The spirit that unites us, and which drives CRAL, is indeed that of creating opportunities and occasions for socializing, while also helping to reduce the costs of these activities to allow as many people as possible to participate in the various activities.

In the wake of the pandemic, this need for participation has become much greater, and intensified, making our project even more strategic and socially useful.

How have you got yourselves organized?

The new board is a young group, made up of people who willingly give up their time to suggest events, organize courses, tournaments, outings and charitable initiatives.

We have divided ourselves into three sections: one dealing with sporting activities, one with tourism and cultural activities, and one with voluntary work, so that each of us can choose which area we are most interested in and focus mainly on that one.

A CRAL newsletter has been created with the aim of improving communication. It gathers the most important news and allows everyone to stay up-to-date and informed on the various activities on offer. In addition to this, we have a dedicated section on the internal website, CFT HUB, and new notice boards have been installed in the refreshment areas to keep any interested colleagues informed.

What has the members’ reaction been to the initiatives you have proposed so far?

From the beginning of the year to now, we have organized various sporting activities: fitness courses, a padel course (with a really successful final tournament), a beach-volleyball group and a five-a-side football group, with pitches rented by CRAL on an ongoing basis, and available to members.

Trips to the mountains have been organized for skiing enthusiasts, as well as trekking excursions, and we managed to get cut-price tickets for Gardaland.

One of the initiatives, proving very popular with the members is the possibility of using two flats we rent in an apartment complex in the Dolomites (in Vigo di Fassa), which we make available during the summer and winter seasons at very favourable prices.

In addition to providing these leisure opportunities, CRAL supports local voluntary associations and sponsors charitable activities. In this context, we organized a collection of clothing and materials to be donated to people in need, we collected funds during the emergency for the war in Ukraine (later donated to the Civil Defence of Parma), we took part in Intercral’s ecological days, and at Easter and Christmas we organize raffles where we raffle products purchased by various voluntary associations (to which we also donate the proceeds of ticket sales).

Another popular initiative, which we have recently worked on, is a gift voucher that can be used in a toy shop in the city and is distributed to any member’s children who are under 12 years of age, to mark Saint Lucy’s Day.

Finally, this year it was possible for all of us to be reunited at a social dinner, which was held on December 2, and was a fantastic occasion for getting together and having fun.

I must say that all the activities organized have been really successful, especially the sports and charitable ones. There is a real enthusiasm to get together, to keep fit while having fun, and at the same time to do some good by helping out for the benefit of the community.

After these first few months, how do you picture CFT CRAL in 2023 and in the coming years?

These first few months have been challenging for the new board because we have had to pick up the activity that had been suspended for quite some time, and re-launch CRAL by trying to bring something new compared to the past, and a new approach to communication, to reach as many colleagues as possible and to get the new employees from the last two years, who didn’t know about it, involved in the various activities.

I am sure that in 2023, and more so in the coming years, we will be able to put the experience gained to good use, because we are enthusiastic about the many ideas we want to put into practice, and desire to have fun together!

Giulia Bertolini

Travel Manager & Cral President

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