As part of Catsurveys Corporate and Social Responsibly commitment, we encourage our team to get involved in ‘Give and Gain’ day. This program allows staff the opportunity to volunteer for a local community partner, to do some good and assist those who need their help.
The ‘Give and Gain’ program is more than a volunteering day, the real core drive behind this scheme is to align Catsurveys with our community, building trust and relationships with local community groups whilst positively improving it.
On Friday 11th August 2017, the Catsurveys Small Works Department took part in their annual ‘Give and Gain’ day. This year, the team chose to help the Rangers at Weald Country Park. This is a large park of some 500 acres and requires constant maintenance which is largely provided by park staff and a very small group of committed volunteers.
Contract Manager, Matt Sibley was one of the team members that participated in this particular ‘Give and Gain’ day. Matt has given us an insight into the agenda for the day:
“The team met in the beautiful surroundings of Weald Country Park at 9.30am to warm welcome and some free hot drinks and biscuits. We were all looking forward to learning some new skills, and getting some much-needed exercise away from our desks!
Once we were all acquainted with the Rangers, we were told that our project for the day would be ‘Coppicing’. This is a traditional method of woodland management and is the process of cutting down young tree stems to near ground level, which then encourages new growth. The purpose of our day was to ‘Coppice’ a dangerous tree that had become a potential hazard.
We were kitted up with safety gear and set off into the woods. A lucky few got a lift in the van but most of us had a very long walk! When we arrived at our destination we were shown our project which was a Hazel tree that was leaning quite precariously over a footpath!
In small teams, we were taught how to cut the tree down and how to prepare it; all the branches had to be removed and then the trunk cut down to size, these then had to be split and transformed into fencing posts, along with the branches that had been removed they would then be used to make a natural weaved fence to protect some of the older trees in the park. We learnt that nothing is wasted in the forest, even the chippings created from shaving the posts into stakes were collected for kindling. The activity was quite physically demanding and I know many of us discovered muscles we didn’t know we had but it was extremely enjoyable learning a new skill.
The focus for us for the day was to help team cohesion whilst giving something back to our Community. I think we were all amazed at how much work goes into maintaining a Country Park and how important volunteers are to these projects. We felt that our work was really valued by the staff at the park and they would love to see future volunteers from Catsurveys, as there certainly isn’t a shortage of jobs that need attention!
As a team, we all helped and encouraged one another and we left with a great sense of achievement, all of which can only be beneficial once back in the office!
It is clear to see that from Matt’s account of the day, participation in the ‘Give and Gain’ program is priceless. By giving a little of our time, we are gaining a tremendous amount of positivity; ensuring our staff work well as a team and bring that sense of achievement back to the Catsurveys office.
Well done to Matt Sibley, Kerry Molloy, Tom Molloy, Sam Gee and Nick Hilton who all participated in this ‘Give and Gain’ day at Weald Country Park.
If you would like to find out more about the 'Give and Gain' program, visit the Business in the Community website here.