Volunteering our time at a local Children's Hospice

Aston Group recently offered up their time to help out at the local children's hospice to reclaim some of their outdoor space.

Haven House Hospice

After many years of supporting Aston Group’s official charity partner, St Francis Hospice, and seeing first-hand the amazing work they do, it was no surprise that when we were introduced to Haven House Children’s Hospice, we wanted to learn how we could get involved.

When we were invited to visit the hospice, we had the chance to speak to the facilities team, and were able to ask them how our employees could contribute around the hospice and grounds. With a team of highly skilled engineers and builders on board, we started a conversation about the myriad of ways we could potentially help out over the coming months. Our Managing Director donated an outdoor table and chairs set for their sensory garden and we are scheduling PAT Testing, to save them costs which could be better spent elsewhere on the children’s needs.

Whilst we were reviewing how to use our technically qualified staff where needed, we were keen to provide opportunities for all members of staff to be able to help out immediately, and talk soon turned to the outside grounds at the hospice.

Whilst the majority of their beautifully curated green spaces and outdoor play areas, are immaculately kept, Haven House’s dedicated staff and volunteers were struggling to keep on top of the more densely forested areas, which often see Muntjac deer, squirrels and other wildlife wandering around in. With such a large acreage to cover, this gave Aston Group a great starting point to be able to make a difference. On May 16th we organised the first of our volunteering days at the hospice, and six members of staff arrived to tackle the huge swathes of holly bushes, weeds and overgrowth.

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Over grown forest area

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The right tools for the job

To ensure that everyone who volunteers to garden at the hospice has the right tools to get the job done, we had asked the hospice’s facilities team Trevor East and Dave Hart, which items they still needed, that we could donate on the day.

Armed with £200 worth of loppers, shears, secateurs, rakes and forks our volunteer team were shown the area to work on. Initially, everyone felt overwhelmed by the mammoth task ahead of them, however they eagerly got stuck in, and by the end of the day were amazed at the transformation that we were able to affect. We had the pleasure of being joined by Angela, one of the hospice’s regular volunteer gardeners, who came over to see what we were up to, then cheerfully mucked in and impressed us all with her hard work and friendly personality.

A combination of perfect gardening weather, great company and good intentions soon started providing results and by the end of the day, we were all amazed at how much we had been able to clear and transform the area.

After a long and tiring day, everyone who participated said how rewarding and enjoyable it had been, and how pleased they were to have been able to support the hospice. A massive thank you and well done to Director of Operations, Jackie, Strategic Communications Manager, Julie, Resident Liaison Officer, Lisa , Plumbing Improver, Inglant, Social Value Manager, Rachel, and Electrical Customer Relationship Technician/Administrator, Jonathan for all their hard work and enthusiasm.

Aston Group are looking forward to returning to Haven House, where we can continue the grounds tidy up and start more projects!

If you would like to find out more about Haven House and how you can get involved or donate to the outstanding service they provide to the local communities, please visit Haven House

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Working hard

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Working hard

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The cleared forest ready for planting

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The cleared forest ready for planting

Haven house hospice

The proud team with Trevor and Dave from Haven House

What a fantastic day! It was lovely to be out in the fresh air, amidst all the nature whilst helping others. Days like this are so rewarding and beneficial not just physically, it promotes team building, positive mental health and a real sense of pride and accomplishment. Knowing that you have successfully contributed to bettering life for others can really boost your confidence and self-esteem. So often we fail to appreciate how much we have to offer, and volunteering provides an opportunity to recognise this, and most importantly have fun whilst getting paid!”

Rachel Statter, CSR Manager