Blakemore employees support largest national day of volunteering

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Around 100 employee volunteers from across the AF Blakemore estate have donated more than 800 hours and made a positive difference to their communities as part of Business in the Community’s national day of volunteering (20 May).

Employee volunteers from AF Blakemore’s Spar Retail, Logistics, Trade Partners, central function and Wholesale divisions took part in a variety of community volunteering events alongside hundreds of businesses across the UK in support of Give & Gain Day 2016.

Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day is the only global day of employee volunteering. Now in its ninth year, it will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering on 20 May 2016.

Employees from across the company’s South Wales operation which encompasses Blakemore Logistics, Trade Partners, IT and HR spent a total of two days regenerating the outdoor space at Penygraig Junior School. Over two days the team replaced hanging baskets, re-painted all decking, fencing and planters and supplied flowers and bedding plants.

Team leader Ryan Ware said: “Considering it was my first community project I was extremely nervous going into it, but with tremendous support leading up to the project and having an amazing team of volunteers we got through it and completed what we set out to do, even in the torrential downpour.

“Everyone put in 100%, got soaked to the bone and worked through the terrible conditions which payed off as the school looked amazing when we were done. So I’d like to say a massive thank you to all my volunteers who made my first project a success.”

Meanwhile, in North Wales two teams totalling 50 employees from Blakemore Retail Spar Wrexham, Gresford, Llangollen and Gwersyllt spent the day at Ty Mawr Country Park and the Leonard Cheshire Disability Group.

Residents at the Leonard Cheshire Adult Disability Group took part in an ‘It’s a Knockout’ style fun day where games such as skittles, inflatable darts, tin can alley, balloon volleyball and jumbo tennis were played.

In the North East of England a team of four volunteers from Blakemore Wholesale Gateshead re-decorated an area at Bede’s World in Jarrow, Tyne & Wear.

Finally two teams from AF Blakemore’s accounts department ran Fit for Fun and athletics events for secondary school students from across the Black Country at Tipton Sports Academy.

AF Blakemore community affairs officer, Liz Bell said: “I am delighted that AF Blakemore is once again involved in Give & Gain Day this year. As a business with strong links in the local community, it is great for our employees to get out of their normal work environment and work as a team. I believe that volunteering in the community is a fantastic way for our employees to learn new skills that they can take back to the workplace.”

Business in the Community chief executive, Stephen Howard, said: “Give & Gain Day is an opportunity for businesses, community organisations and schools to celebrate what can be achieved through the power of volunteers. Employee volunteering is a win win.”