See what our people got up to at Mendham Primary School...

Mark Allen

Why did you choose this charity?

Tracey lives near her local primary school and noticed how shabby the children’s play area was. It was dull, dirty and not much fun, so we wanted to bring a little joy to the children and breathe new life into their play area. We also wanted to buy some urgently needed supplies for the children to use in their lessons.

How did it make you feel? 

When I first saw the photos of the playground and garden I was saddened by how was grey and lifeless it was, it was in need of some TLC & colour. 

I’m easily motivated by projects like this one and I love feeding off other people's ideas. I use my creative talents to plan and make things, so working with my colleagues from both Ipswich and Brentwood gave me a sense of worth. They were a great bunch of people to work with, I made some new friends and we had some fun along the way!

The results of our labours was a sight to be seen. We were very pleased and so were the school and the children. I love it when a plan comes together (A-Team)

What benefits did it give you?

Freedom to use my creative skills working outside in the fresh air, away from all the COVID rubbish we’ve all had to endure for so long. I was encouraged by the efforts of everyone on the project and what they achieved in such a short time. I was touched by the contributions from staff who couldn't take part but felt strongly enough about the project to help in other ways such as buying additional items for the school from our Amazon wish list.

What would you say to those thinking about volunteering?

Put aside your fears and get stuck in. It doesn’t matter what skills or abilities you have, there’s something for everyone, so put your time to good use by helping others in need. You don’t have to be an artist, good at DIY, or have green fingers to make a difference - look for things you can get involved with and play a part in something great. LV=GI will give you 20 volunteering hours to do it, too!

Dan Lynch

What did you do?

I attended 1 day at a primary school. I took part if clearing, decorating, painting, fixing things like fence panels, cut a tree and a general clear up.

Why did you choose this charity?

I wanted to do something as a team (my team) and add some value to a local event

What benefits did you see?

It was a day of fresh air, exercise, engagement with my team (not seen all due to Covid for months) and others from my office and further.

What would you say to those thinking about volunteering?

Volunteering is a easy way to feel good about yourself whilst adding help and value to others. Its fantastic that my employers support this sort of event in their time.

Beth Allen

How did volunteering make you feel?

I absolutely loved it! We were able to crack on with the jobs we knew needed doing and it was just great to be around like minded people who all wanted to achieve the same end goal. Everyone (12 of us) was in great spirits and the weather was fabulous on the first day, sunshine blue sky it was perfect! The second day there were only 5 of us so it was much quieter and although we had a bit of rain we managed to get the majority of the painting finished on the first day so we weren’t so phased by it as we knew we had the last odd jobs to do.

What benefits did it give you?

I loved it so much it made me want to continue volunteering so I signed up to my local council as a litter picker. I also signed my mum, dad and sister up too.

I personally took part in the following activities; painted fence panels & playhouse (2+ coats), cleared sacks and sacks of rotten apples from the orchard and pruned the apple trees to create more light and space in the orchard. Hung decorative metal flowers, birds, ladybugs, ants, butterflies & fairies on the trees in the orchard and across the fence panels. Jet washed the children’s outdoor play equipment and their mud kitchen (pots, pans, utensils, outdoor sink and oven area), hung information/ learning posters and planted some Tyre flower beds as well as general busy body sweeping clearing clutter and making tea and coffee.

What would you say to those thinking about volunteering?

Go for it! LV= /Allianz have been kind enough to allow us 20 hours of volunteering each a year so I highly recommend it. It’s no day off so if you’re not prepared to get stuck in then this type of volunteering may not be for you but it’s highly rewarding when you know the efforts you put in are going to make other people happy. There are other volunteering opportunities that aren’t so physically demanding if the physical element is off putting to some people so I recommend choosing one that’s suitable to you