A group of us from different teams across the company all got together recently and braved the cold at Whirlow Hall Farm in Sheffield for a spot of volunteering work.
The farm provides a learning experience for local children, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds and, despite living in the England’s greenest city, have never set foot on a farm.
Over 10,000 children from local schools and community groups have visited the farm since 1970. For some of us, it really took us back to being children on a school trip.
Whirlow Farm set us a number of tasks to complete over two days. From laying new paths and the foundations for a new goat shed, to building a raised fish pond and tidying up the sensory gardens, we all worked really hard but had loads of fun.
The highlight for me was demolishing the old goat shed to make room for the new one and trimming back the trees and hedges. Personally I think it was a new world record! I can’t recall ever seeing a shed being pulled apart so fast.
Despite our aching muscles and the cold weather (whoever thought that working outside in the country in the middle of winter was a great idea?), it was a great team building exercise, and it was really nice to do something totally different and worthwhile for our local community – something that many of us would relish the opportunity to participate again in the future.
We’re really proud of what we accomplished and we’re all looking forward to visiting the farm in the spring to see the finished projects.
A big thanks to Sarah Kerrigan, Head of Fundraising and Events, who arranged the day for us, and the fantastic Whirlow Hall Farm staff who looked after us on the day and tried not to laugh too much at our feeble attempts to dig up a bit of soil! For more information about Whirlow Hall Farm and their fantastic work, visit www.whirlowhallfarm.org
At Westfield Health, we’re encouraged to be good corporate citizens and carrying out such fulfilling and rewarding work goes a long way towards our goal. For any employers that are considering introducing a volunteering policy within their organisation, we’d say go for it!