Saturday, 3 August 2013

Lloyds TSB volunteer day at Goldsmiths Community Centre 26 July 2013

For the second year running a team from Lloyds TSB volunteered at Goldsmiths Community Centre for the Our Day to Make a Difference programme. Arranged through Employee Volunteering, 35 volunteers from the Loan Credit Risk team were tasked with painting and decorating, weeding, digging and pruning! Many thanks to Kristen Keith, Project Manager at Employee Volunteering, for visiting the centre, communicating so clearly and sending us these photographs from the day, and to Jo Thomas the supervisor and all the volunteers for working so hard and cheerfully on the tasks. We hope they will come back next year - there is always plenty to do!

What did we ask them to help us with? 

Painting and decorating - before and after

One of the main tasks we asked the team to do was to redecorate the two corridors with magnolia paint. I think you'll agree it was very effective!

Remedial work in the corridors - painting over the eggy yellow!

Afterwards - what a difference
Light, bright and airy - and all the same colour

A splendid job, well done

The Gardens - before and after

At just under an acre, the community centre grounds need a lot of tender loving care to keep them looking nice. We have a static community payback team that comes every Sunday to help keep the grounds under control, but even in the space of a week the brambles and bindweed take hold again! We asked the team to dig out the brambles once and for all and prune the pyracantha behind the sports cage, a very prickly job. Some of the brambles have been there for 40 years, and their roots go deep.

Getting ready to tackle the brambles
A clear path created behind the sports cage
In the George Green Hall gardens, the team were asked to prune and weed, and sand and paint the benches. The gardens here are divided into separate plots; there is a Forest School, an allotment garden, and the main garden which is used for outdoor events such as the Goldsmiths Summer Festival,  outdoor play and private functions like weddings and parties.

Pruning and shaping the rose arch

Before and after photos of the allotment garden
Painting the outdoor benches, with a smile!

Roundtable discussion with team members

Four Lloyds TSB team members kindly agreed to join a roundtable discussion about the community centre. Like many voluntary organisations in the current economic climate, the Goldsmiths Community Association is struggling to meet rising costs and falling revenues for this venerable and very large (over 16000 sq ft) building. The utility bills for the centre alone can reach £20,000 per year, particularly in a cold and prolonged winter. It is harder to 'square the circle' as the Association aims to keep the cost of activities affordable so that local people are able to participate regardless of income.

The team were full of ideas for investment into the centre, marketing and activities that we hadn't thought to offer and gave us much food for thought. We had a very productive session, then let them get back to work! These ideas and plans will be shared with our new members, and the general public, at the Association's Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21 September.

Lloyds TSB, you are welcome at the centre any time and our grateful thanks go to you for all your hard work - it was indeed a day to make a difference.

Lloyds TSB volunteers in a roundtable discussion about the community centre

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