Barclays Wealth and Investment Management employees have helped build greatly needed pathways at The Children’s Centre’s Community Farm.
Volunteers turned out over two days to help the charity improve access to the Douglas farm’s conservation area. Thanks to the hard work, there are now vital boardwalks and pathways giving access to the five acre wetland for all visitors, including wheelchair users.
Helping at the Community Farm was part of the 2013 Make a Difference Day scheme, which sees Barclays Wealth and Investment Management employees take time out to support community initiatives.
The Children’s Centre, one of Barclays’ 2013 Charities of the Year, is developing the Community Farm to offer young people in the Isle of Man the opportunity to enhance their social skills and self-confidence, as well as learning new practical skills. It also provides alternative education for young people struggling with mainstream education, who are given the chance to turn their new found knowledge of horticulture and agriculture into qualifications such as AQAs, ASDANs and Open College Network awards.
The farm is already used by more than 250 young people and the work carried out by the Barclays Wealth and Investment Management employees has helped ensure a much better experience for all the visitors.
Barclays Wealth and Investment Management Account Executive Ana Rowlands, from the team of volunteers, said: “The day was extremely rewarding and everybody enjoyed it. Although the weather presented some challenges, the teams pulled together and had the opportunity to put into practice the teamwork approach and their DIY techniques.”
“The team was also very grateful for how well The Children’s Centre looked after us, making sure we had plenty of coffee and snacks to get us through the work and providing the well-needed motivation for the hard work required.”
Another project supported as part of Make a Difference Day was the Junior Achievement King William’s College Year 7 Challenge.
Five employees spent a day at the school mentoring groups of students as they tackled the business challenge of organising a concert for a band. The challenge involved developing financial and business skills for around 50 students
The volunteers agreed the excitement and quality of work had made the experience thoroughly rewarding, while Head of Year Karen Brew said her students had appreciated the professionalism and support of the team.
Another Make a Difference Day project has seen a team of six volunteers spend two days redecorating the entrance hall to Pulrose Methodist Church.
The local church provides important facilities to the area as well as a children’s playgroup.
Many more employees volunteered for Make a Difference Day activities, including the team who spent a day preparing an allotment space for the Manx Blind Welfare society and the 11 volunteers who assisted Manx Sport and Recreation with the delivery of this year’s Disability Football Festivals.
Stuart Nelson, Head of Corporate and Intermediary Banking at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in the Isle of Man said: “We have a long-standing commitment to being involved in our communities and employees from Barclays Wealth and Investment Management can often be found helping out with projects.”
“Every year we organise Make a Difference Day as a focal point for these activities, encouraging our colleagues to get involved and, where necessary, providing funds for materials and ensuring people can have time away from work to take part.”
“Once again, I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to Make a Difference Day, which has seen employees building sheds, painting walls, sharing their business expertise and much, much more. I know their work has made a real difference to the projects supported, and I’d like to thank everyone for giving up their time.”