TO mark Volunteers’ Week, a team of employees from Direct Line have volunteered a hard day’s work to complete the exciting renovation of a children’s playpark in Rutherglen.
The Springhall playpark had fallen into disrepair and was overgrown with weeds. But thanks to the facelift on Wednesday 5th June, planned and overseen by children’s play charity Project 31, the park is now as good as new.
The area was cleared of debris, the play equipment freshly painted, and there’s a fantastic interactive mural showing a meadow, a pond and frolicking animals.
The weeds have been replaced with new plants that, when fully-grown, will create an immersive environment in which children’s imaginations can run wild.
Materials were paid for with money from South Lanarkshire Council’s Pride of Place fund that helps with small-scale improvement projects in regeneration areas.
The manpower offered by the Direct Line team of 13 was vital to the project, and they were delighted to give up their time for the benefit of an area of multi-deprivation.
Donna McGregor, delivery trainer, said: “I have loved my experience with Project 31 today, knowing that children will benefit from the work our team did.
“It’s great that Direct Line recognise the value in releasing staff for a day to support local communities. We work in a building with 600 other employees who have an allowance to volunteer for a day, so the potential for community benefit is massive.”
The Direct Line crew was put in touch with Project 31 by voluntary sector support body Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire, or VASLan. VASLan development officer, Wendy Russell, said that the success of this project shows the value of employer-led volunteering.
She said: “While there are fewer funding resources available to voluntary groups at the moment, there’s an abundance of expertise, knowledge and manpower available in the private and public sectors.
“Projects like this one are about using what’s available for the benefit of communities.
“It’s also about building relationships and partnerships, so that the framework is in place for the great work we saw today to continue in the future.”
The Direct Line team’s head of Learning, Mel Tully, was also optimistic about the company’s future participation in community regeneration projects.
He said: “This experience has led to conversations about possibly adopting an organisation which would allow our team to re-visit projects like this and create an even bigger impact in communities.”
Volunteers’ Week, which was 1st-7th June this year, is a national campaign aimed at recognising and celebrating the achievements of volunteers from all walks of life.
It is also an opportunity to encourage people to get into volunteering for the first time by showing that committing just a few hours a week could have a hugely positive effect on their area.
For more about Project 31, visit www.project31.co.uk.
For more information about volunteering in South Lanarkshire, visit www.vaslan.org.uk/volunteering where you can search for opportunities in the area.
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Contact: Matthew McWhinnie