Staff from Sheffield businesses swapped offices for a school playground as they volunteered in the community.
Firms from across the city signed up to lend a hand at Mansel Primary School in Parson Cross today for a Give and Gain day, run by the Business in the Community project.
On a breezy day they turned up bright and early to transform the school’s outdoor area by painting, digging, planting and building exciting new things for pupils to interact with.
Reece Thomas and Stacey Warkup, from Irwin Mitchell law firm, were helping create a sensory garden.
“We dug up the grass and are gravelling the area,” said Reece. “We’ll do some planting, putting in some flowers.
“We had an email at work asking if we wanted to volunteer. It was quite an easy decision.”
“It’s all hands on deck this morning,” added Stacey.
“It’s nice to get out of the office and give back to the community. It’s a bit of an under-privileged area and it’s nice to help out.”
Businesses that sign up to the Give and Gain scheme are invited to ask employees to give up their time for a variety of projects.
Alongside Irwin Mitchell, staff from Best Solicitors, Carillion, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield International Venues, Waitrose and Yorkshire Bank volunteered at Mansel Primary.
Philippa Owen, from Lloyds, was building a wormery out of tyres with colleague Fiona Steel.
She said: “It’s the third year running I’ve done it. I wanted to pick something in the local areas, because I live in Sheffield.”
Philippa said of the wormery: “It’s harder than it looks to build.
“It will give the kids something to interact with in the playground. It’s nice to go back to nature.”
Tim Davidson-Hague and Danielle Lee, from Sheffield Business School, were busy making bug hotels from pallets and vegetation.
“We’ve been members of Business in the Community for a number of years,” said Tim. “We’ve been involved in Give and Gain for about five years.
“We always put a small team together. Today we’ve been clearing the hedgerow to create a border, and then made the bug hotels.” Danielle added: “After they are built, they’ll be populated with insects. It’s part of creating an environmental walkway. It’s about teaching the kids about nature. We’re having a brilliant day.”
Lord David Blunkett and new Lord Mayor of Sheffield Vicky Fox paid a visit to see how the volunteers were getting on.