Trustmarque volunteering round-up
Our teams across the UK have been giving time back to local communities and charities as part of our volunteering and responsible business objectives. Throughout the year our colleagues have been taking part in a range of activities, including giving time to support our charity partner, York Cares.
Here’s what some of our volunteers have been doing over the last few months:
Supporting refugees in York
York Office Coordinator, Angela Hume, has been volunteering at the Our City Hub since the spring. The hub offers a warm welcome to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants by delivering support, basic advice and referrals, and an interpretation and translation service.
Alongside York residents, nearly 40 trained volunteers from across York’s diverse migrant communities help run the weekly sessions every Saturday from 9.30am to 3.30pm at Explore York Library.
“I think I get as much out of volunteering as I feel I give. Although the co-ordinators are always grateful for my rapid response to their proofreading needs!” – Angela Hume, York Office Coordinator
“I started volunteering with Our City Hub in March this year, after one of my Polish friends asked if I would go as she loved the way I helped her with ‘Yorkshire’ English. I attend most Saturdays to sessions run in the library in York. I have helped prepare for celebrations in the library, the Mansion House and recently a Methodist church that hosted a festive gathering for the refugees living in a hotel. They usually attend the church for English lessons provided mainly by volunteers who are ESOL trained. I take part in In Her Shoes Sessions, a safe space for women migrants to talk, guest speakers from various organisations come to help and guide the sessions. I was fortunate to participate in a Mindful Photography initiative through the summer and is continuing in our closed Facebook group.”
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
In November 2023, Kira Squire from our Performance, Development and Responsible Business team dedicated a day volunteering as a Learning Activity Coordinator with The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust within Telford and Wrekin. She joined the team at Enginuity, an interactive science and engineering museum where she led a learning workshop with children and adults of all ages. She showed them how a blast furnace works, and how waterpower is used and spoke about the very first electric car, which was made at Coalbrookdale hub. She also supported an activity workshop where visitors could learn how to make a wiggly worm. Over 200 attended the museum on the day.
Feedback from visitors on the day:
“I remember coming to Enginuity with my siblings and now I’m bringing my kids to learn about the history of Ironbridge. Fantastic for Kira to give us a tour and show the children how the dam and waterpower work. They loved it.”
Kira’s thoughts: “I loved having the opportunity to share my knowledge on Enginuity and Ironbridge. The interaction from both children and adults wanting to know more and their reactions when they learned about electricity and wind power, but also how important renewable energy is for the future. It was a bonus to support the ‘worm school’ activity and see all the different versions that the children made – one even had a top hat! I enjoyed my day at The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust and look forward to returning either as a volunteer or visitor.”
York Foodbank and Door84
Director of Strategic Accounts, Oliver Harvey-Jones and his team supported the York Foodbank and Door84 via our York Cares partnership.
“This week a few of us from Trustmarque were working with York Cares wrapping Christmas presents for Door84. Door 84 is a youth and community hub in York, creating bridges between young people, families, parents and carers. My team and I also delivered food to York Foodbank along with £175 we raised from our wonderful colleagues at Marlborough House.”
The money raised was donated by those taking part in the guess the sweet competition in the York Office:
“Congratulations to Theo Douglas for his win and a huge thank you to Simon Bull, Brendan Harte, Amy Bradley, Jodie Harvey-Jones, Sarah Millis and a special thank you to Angela Hume. Finally, thank you to all of those who donated!”
York Cares: preparing for the Shimmer and Shine Social
Earlier this month, the Marketing team gave up a few hours of their time to travel to York University to lend a hand to York Cares, our charity partner.
Each year, York Cares hosts a Shimmer and Shine social on 12 December at The De Grey Rooms to bring together older and younger ‘neighbours’ from across the city. There they can enjoy various activities including a festive barn dance, festive crafts, Christmas carols and festive treats.
In preparation for the event, the Marketing team signed up to get involved in making decorations such as Christmas bunting, wreaths and table decorations which were shared by neighbours attending the party.
Senior Marketing Manager, Agata Walker, commented: “This year’s York Case volunteering day was an absolute joy! It was delightful to not only spend quality time with my Marketing teammates crafting festive wreaths but also spread holiday cheer by contributing to a great cause.”
“Some of us showed a real talent for creating vibrant wreaths for the Shimmer and Shine Social, they served as a testament to the community’s collaborative spirit and the magic of giving during the festive season.”
Worcestershire Royal Hospital: Bereavement Ward
Trigger warning: the final article discusses baby loss.
This month, Licensing and Contract Management Specialist, Neil Atkins used his volunteer day to give some much-needed maintenance at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital Bereavement Ward. Sadly, Neil’s friends have recently suffered a bereavement following the birth of their baby, and so he joined them on their mission to make the garden space a place of peace and reflection.
“I was helping tidy up the memorial garden for the baby bereavement suites at a local hospital. Our friends tragically lost their baby boy a couple of months back and they needed the garden as space to reflect and grieve.”
The Maternity Bereavement team are specialist midwives who support families who suffer baby loss. The team are there to provide practical support, create special memories for families and ensure they have the support they need going forward.
“During this time, it was clear it had become quite run down so my friend promised the hospital he would take it upon himself to clean it up, renovate it, and provide new furniture. He has also raised over £3,000 to go towards the cost of any new furniture that was needed. It’s something I was honoured to help with.”
Neil and his friend were able to complete a significant amount of work:
- Maintain area from initial clean up, including leaf removal
- Fence panels cleaning
- Archway cleaning
- Central flower bed, de-weed and clean
- Slab / Paving industrial cleaning.
Neil’s friend was very grateful for the support that he was able to offer as part of his volunteering day:
“I’d like to thank my amazing friend Neil Atkins for all his help yesterday and his company Trustmarque Solutions Limited, for supporting Neil and approving time off to do the volunteering work for our mission.”
Donations and funds are still welcome here: JustGiving Bereavement Ward
Well done to everyone who stepped away from their day jobs to give something back this year!