Volunteers swap office for garden

SITTING PRETTY: Volunteers from Incommunities and the Gateway Centre have created a reading chair as part of Give and Gain Day

SITTING PRETTY: Volunteers from Incommunities and the Gateway Centre have created a reading chair as part of Give and Gain Day

First published in News

A Bradford community centre’s garden was transformed as volunteers took part in a makeover day.

More than 20 staff from the housing provider Incommunities swapped the office for the outdoors as part of a national volunteering challenge.

The makeover team spent the day brightening up the Gateway Centre at Ravenscliffe as part of Business in the Community’s Give and Gain Day. Their challenge involved decorating the centre’s main hall, weeding and cleaning pathways, creating a seating area and repairing a large wooden planter.

Some of the housing team created a giant reading chair made of reclaimed wood to go in the centre’s garden. They were joined by volunteers from the Gateway Centre.

Toby Heslop, of Incommunities, who was involved in the day, said: “We had a gloriously warm day and everyone really got stuck into the challenge.”

Geraldine Howley, Incommunities’ group chief executive, who joined in the makeover, said: “It was a fabulous day and everyone was very proud to be a part of Give and Gain Day.

“Challenges like this are a great way for staff to use their skills and time to give something back to the communities that we work with and support.”

Gateways’ centre manager, Maureen Holmes, said: “it was a fabulous day, the atmosphere was brilliant and everybody got involved.

“The nursery children will really enjoy having the big chair in the storytelling corner, and residents will have a lovely view in the garden.

“We have volunteers who do the gardening but so much work needed doing it was overwhelming.

“Now it is manageable.

“We are also looking at costing a horticultural course with qualifications, which means people will get something out of it, as well as continuing the work.

“The day has sent a real message to the community that other people do care.”

Give & Gain Day is the UK’s only national day of employee volunteering, giving companies a unique opportunity to bring community action to life.

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