Corporate Volunteering: Crane and Triangle Community Garden

October 11th, 2018
Rebecca Fatharly

Corporate volunteering (also called employee volunteering) is a really simple and effective way for businesses to contribute to the community, and by fulfilling their CSR requirements. Companies can give their employees an allowance of paid time off annually, which they use to volunteer at a charity of their choice. This enables staff to make a difference in as little as an afternoon, and has incredible potential for community impact.

#TeamHerts Volunteering went down to Triangle Community Garden, a community organisation in Hitchin where the public can take part in activities, such as growing food and flowers, tending plants and creating wildlife habitats, to see how a local business was helping their organisation.

#TeamHerts Volunteering matched them up with Crane Buildings Services and Utilities (Crane), who design and manufacture a range of engineered flow control products and solutions for the utility sector, so that they could complete their corporate volunteering programme.

Crane have helped the Triangle Community Garden since January 2018, and come down once a month to garden, to decorate the community hall, lend their IT expertise and much more. They once picked apricots from the garden orchard to create jam, which the Triangle Community Garden can then sell on at their events, generating more income for them. There is now a partnership developing between the organisations, with Crane sending down different employees each month. Some of the volunteers even come down more than once, because they love it so much.

Sharon Tingey, Tactical Buyer from Crane, tells #TeamHerts Volunteering what she enjoys about corporate volunteering. “Volunteering at Triangle Community Garden is ideal to volunteer at, as geographically it is very close to the office, and there is a vast variety of tasks to volunteer for. It’s very rewarding and great for building relationships with my colleagues, and with my local community.”

When asked why the group keep coming back to volunteer, Sharon said “simply because we enjoy it. As well as helping an organisation to become more sustainable.”

The corporate volunteers work with the Garden Club, and Crane send down 5 or 6 people at a time for a morning session. They then go back to the office to complete their working day.

But what about the charity? What do they get out of the corporate volunteering experience, apart from help from volunteers?

Liz McElroy, one of the Triangle Community Garden staff, says that the “help of the groups coming down to help has been amazing. The volunteers are so enthusiastic and diverse, so it’s good to plug into all that experience.”

When asked if there had been any challenges with corporate volunteering, Liz said “sometimes we run out of tasks for the volunteers to complete, because they are so quick!”

#TeamHerts Volunteering then asked what is the best thing about using a corporate organisation to help you, Liz said it was “the enthusiasm in which the group complete the tasks.”

“Corporate volunteering has allowed us to move us forward as a charity, and to become sustainable. As an example, the painting and decorating they do for us, will allow us to hire out our community hall, which will generate more income for us.”

For more information on how #TeamHerts Volunteering can help your organisation meet its corporate volunteering needs, whether you are from the private sector or a VCS organisation, contact us on enquiries@teamhert.org or call 01462 689409.

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