On Friday 16th May 2014 Thrive Trafford, in partnership with the charity Red Rose Forest, hosted a huge volunteering event as part of national ‘Give & Gain Day’. More than 60 volunteers from across Trafford swapped their usual Friday at work for a day giving time back to the community as part of Business in the Community’s ‘Give & Gain Day’. Projects included litter picking, cutting back vegetation, including invasive balsam, tree thinning, opening up ditches and re-decking a bridge.
The day which also took place nationally for employee volunteering, helped to connect skilled professionals with people working within community improvement projects.
Businesses who took part in Trafford included DWF LLP, Styles and Wood, Bruntwood, Chep UK, Sainsburys Urmston, Trafford Housing Trust, Thomas Carter Opticians, Nixor Resource Consulting Ltd and the University of Manchester.
Mike Savage, Operations Manager for Red Rose Forest said “Urmston Meadows is a fantastic resource but like many other countryside sites needs some TLC to make the most of it for people and wildlife. The hard work that all the employees have done today makes an enormous difference and is a great start to the improvements to the site we hope to achieve in the future…”
Below are some short case studies from some of the volunteers that took part on the day:
Vicky Turner from Manchester University
Which organisation do/did you volunteer for? Urmston parkways
What volunteering activities do/did you do? Pruning/ weeding
How and why did you get involved with volunteering? I have always wanted to volunteer and this was an opportunity I could do through work
What do you feel you have gained from being a volunteer? I felt I helped the community, and I felt I achieved something on the day and it was something I have never really done before. (I currently live in a flat with no outdoor space)
How would you encourage other people to volunteer? Using social media and telling my story
Are there any other volunteering opportunities would you consider in the future? Yes definitely my manager is looking into future opportunities
Is there any further comments you would like to make about your volunteering experience? I really enjoyed the day and the organisers on the day were great
Bianca Reda from Styles and Wood
What was your experience of Give and Gain Day? Great day, learnt about the forest and also gained experience of garden tools such as saws etc
What difference do you think you made on the day? Although cutting down trees didnt seem right the staff/volunteers explained the impact we were having on our native trees and plants so I feel we made a difference to their development
Would you consider volunteering again? Yes
Any other comments? ‘Fantastic day, greatly organised and S&W should be informed of more days like this as everyone later on in the way was mentioning how much fun they had’
What was your experience of Give and Gain Day? I loved every minute of it and would definitely do it again
What difference do you think you made on the day? We made a huge difference
Would you consider volunteering again? I will definitely be volunteering again