I’m sure we all give our bit to charity in one way or another. That work bake sale you bought a slice at to support someone’s event. Red Nose Day or Children in Need events. The collection buckets at supermarkets for another cause. Or even donating to a chosen charity for someone’s birthday – the initiative by Facebook. But doing a CSR day, giving a whole day of your time to do something which helps in some way, for a cause close to your heart, that gives a new feeling altogether. I felt like I really was doing something to make a difference. Even a little one. I could actually see what my donation (time) was helping with. And it’s something I’m definitely keen to do more of.
I’m quite lucky in the fact that the agency I work at gives us two days a year to do charity work. Two days to help any charity we like. Do what we want to give back. Last year, I spent so long thinking about what I wanted to do, and the end of the year got so busy that I never took my days. I got to the end of the year angry at myself for not putting it first. It’s important after all. But I wasn’t alone in not taking my days – not really knowing where to start with which charity and what I could do (there was so much I wanted to do which I didn’t think I could). So this year, my work organised for us to volunteer on a community project as one of our days. I loved it.
We helped out with the latest Global Generation Garden
Global Generation is an educational charity which works together with children, young people, businesses, residents and families to create healthy and environmentally responsible communities. They offer practical experiences to learn about the environment, including how to grow food and look after our green space. They also have a café on-site serving food made from the garden’s (and local) produce. It offers work experience and employability programmes to those often marginalised by society, such as young people with special needs, the elderly and refugees. Global Generation was founded in 2004 and to date they have created over 10,000 opportunities for local children and young people!
The new garden, The Story Garden, is in a space behind the British Library.
It’s bigger than the rest and is designed to be like the others. So we didn’t have to get it completely ready, just in a good condition for it to be accessible and to allow others to come and get creative too. When we first arrived on a Friday, after half the company had also done a day the day before too, I wasn’t sure quite how it’d be ready. But a days work with us all made such an impact!
I helped with sanding down rusty skips and painting them with a base coat. Eventually, they’re going to be pretty colourful- colours had not been decided when we visited, it depends on their sponsors etc. I also lined a couple of plant beds and shovelled lots of soil to fill the massive planters. It was hard work, especially in the heat. I got filthy too. But it was so rewarding knowing what I was helping towards. Knowing I was getting the community garden ready for launch day, the following day – that’s right it’s open now! It was also nice to get out of the office and bond with colleagues in a setting other than the pub. I loved it!
We got to try some of the food they make at the on-site cafe for lunch too…
We had a daal with baked potatoes and salad. I can confirm it’s absolutely delicious!
I’d highly recommend trying to get involved in something like this. It really does feel good, and can be fun. I’m definitely using both my charity days this year. I just need to get my butt into gear to figure out what I want to do with the second one. No dilly-dallying this time. Promise.
Have you done something like this before? Do you have any recommendations for my second charity day this year?