Every year, staff from CLA offices in London and Edinburgh dedicate time to volunteering with charities whose work help give back to local communities. This year we spent time helping out at KIDS (London) and Tree Time (Edinburgh)
This year’s London volunteering took place across two days in Islington’s Hayward Adventure Playground which is run by KIDS. KIDS is a national charity which offers an array of support and services to children and young persons with disabilities and their families. The Hayward Playground offers an accessible green space for children and young people with special needs and disabilities living in the London borough of Islington.
London based staff from CLA spent a couple of days helping with the maintenance of the Hayward Playground grounds, carrying out a range of tasks from fixing bikes, to clearing overgrown foliage, from painting walls to sweeping leaves.
Staff really enjoyed spending the day outdoors and helping out with an extremely worthwhile and local cause, with everyone saying they would happily volunteer there again:
I really loved it, and felt like such a good thing to do, especially after the last 18 months! I would happily go back there – it seems like such a lovely place.
I thought it was really good and enjoyable and we all felt as though we achieved some good stuff for them. I’d be very happy to go back again next year for another day’s session.
Up in Edinburgh the team volunteered with Tree Time to plant trees in Little France Park, one of the few new parks being developed on the outskirts of Edinburgh to ensure new housing developments have access to a park for recreation, dog walking, and exercise. Upon arriving, they were provided with shovels and about 200 trees to plant on the hillside. They learnt about the different species of trees they would be planting and how to plant them so they wouldn't be damaged by the frost and would have a good chance of surviving.
Feedback from staff was extremely positive:
I came across Tree Time and loved their values and purpose and thought it would be a great activity for the team, as looking after our environment is more important than ever. As Edinburgh in a luscious green city it’s important that the next generation of trees and parks are replenished as the Victorian trees start to come to their end of life. It felt great to be out in nature and putting our time and effort into such an important task. I thoroughly enjoyed my first volunteers day at CLA.
The idea of planting trees for my first CLA volunteer day really appealed to me – weather permitting! It was a lovely, relaxed opportunity to learn about such a worthwhile environmental and inner-city project while spending time with colleagues in a different setting.
To have the opportunity to plant the beginnings of a Great Oak Tree into the hard soil on a windy Scottish hillside to take root and grow for many years to come is one of the most unique and memorable team building exercises.
My experience with Tree Time was very positive. I learned lot of new information about planting trees and enjoyed the whole process. In my view the project was very well organized. And last (but not least) – I feel I did something useful and important. It was a great experience for me and I would defiantly be interested in volunteering with Tree Time again in the future.
A huge thank you to both charities for hosting us and we look forward to volunteering with them both again in the future