A team of 64 colleagues from Blakemore Trade Partners – the division which provides trading, marketing and sales support to the 793 independently owned Spar stores across the symbol group’s Meridian & Welsh Guild – has won plaudits for donating more than 400 hours of work time to supporting an outdoor education centre in Oxfordshire.
Employees from the division’s sales and recruitment teams joined forces for a day of volunteering at the Hill End Centre on the edge of Wytham Woods.
Volunteers completed tasks including coppicing, creating materials for teaching activities, decorating in a dormitory, cutting back vegetation alongside a main track and roofing a new storage shed. The project was led by business development managers Joe Kennedy and Munisha Bhardwaj.
The Hill End Centre is a 65-acre wildlife site whose primary mission is to make unique spaces and resources available to schools and young people for outdoor learning. They also have residential accommodation and meeting rooms available to community groups and businesses.
Hill End Site & Operations Manager David Millin commented: “We appreciated Joe and Munisha’s preparations before the day so the individuals were already sorted into groups. Your staff worked so hard that we had to find additional tasks to keep them busy! Our own staff and volunteers have reported back that they really enjoyed working with your team and we learnt a lot about AF Blakemore and Spar alike.”
AF Blakemore Community Affairs Officer Liz Bell added: “It is a fantastic achievement to have over 50 volunteers from two departments all out on one day making a significant difference to the local community. This is the first time in Blakemore’s history that we have had so many volunteers out on one day on one project.
“The work that the teams completed on the day, despite the wet and cold weather, was amazing. I hope that this motivates other colleagues to get involved in their local communities and make a difference.”