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Volunteers achieve positive change

Volunteering offers mutual benefits. For different reasons, many businesses commit to voluntary work at Brandon’s social enterprises. Elm Tree Farm and Fired Up Ceramics are just two of the Bristol enterprises that have achieved great things with the help of corporate volunteers.

Volunteers get ready to work on the FarmOur volunteers get involved with a range of indoor and outdoor projects, from creating a pond in a herb garden to erecting polytunnels, painting and decorating to handcrafting clay pixie tealight holders; tasks which help bring positive change to our social enterprises and people we support.

Last September, a team of 40 volunteers from Emersons Green Primary School, carried out a day of voluntary work at Elm Tree Farm in Bristol. With bags of enthusiasm, they got stuck into weeding, creating compost heaps, and cleaning the apple room. 40 pairs of hands working together made swift progress and the results were clearly visible.

Julia Dunn explained that they became interested in supporting Brandon through personal connections. The school’s headteacher, Karl Hemmings, knows someone who works at the Farm, and Julia’s own daughter chose to gain work experience there. Julia added: “Our school has a Resource Base for children with special needs and the ethos is quite closely aligned with yours at Brandon.”

Volunteers from Emersons Green Primary School create a compost heapOn the day the school team visited the Farm they were in luck with the weather and it was a beautiful summer’s day. Julia said it was: “…a lovely way to start the new school year. This volunteering experience meant we could group together and remind ourselves that we are a great team.”

Although the work was far more physical than initially anticipated, Julia summed up the group's experience in three words: inspiring, community-centred, and satisfying.

We were thrilled to learn that after their experience, Emerson’s Green Primary School then chose to support Brandon as their Charity of the Year.

More information

If you'd like to explore volunteering opportunities for your team, you can find more information on the volunteering page.