On 10th January 2012, a team from Diageo’s Global Audit & Risk Dept. engaged in their second volunteer challenge in 6 months with Works4U. This brought together Diageo and Kenmont Primary School, housed in a large three-storey Victorian building, built in 1883, rising above small roads of residential houses. Each floor has its own large hall, as well as classrooms or dedicated subject rooms. This attracted the attention of Diageo as the Art Room was in desperate need of refurbishment due to chipped & flaky paintwork, not to mention its bright pink walls! The Head teacher, Ms Howarth, was keen to make this room accessible and utilised once more. The garden was also in need of pruning and clearing in time for spring, and the PTA were keen for volunteers to become green fingered for the day. Diageo were keen to do something positive for the community and for the students of Kenmont School. Diageo have a strong CSR policy and believe that their success is measured by more than financial performance.
Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine (but of course, there was no mention of this whilst present at the school). The company provided 16 volunteers from their internal audit “GAR” team. The team gets together every six months to carry out a community project in the local area.
Work's 4U's Business Development Manager was on hand on the day to facilitate the event and to ensure all equipment was supplied and the Art Room set up for the volunteers. The Diageo volunteers arrived at 9.30am and were briefed on the purpose and duties of the day, including a health & safety briefing. The team divided into two groups, one for the painting task, and the remainder for the gardening. They then set to work, taping off the areas, laying dustsheets and prepping the area. The room was painted to a professional standard by the team; a professional decorator was on hand to paint the higher levels of the room. The rest of the volunteers took to the garden, pruning, trimming, cutting back and working to instructions of the PTA member who looks after the garden. Much debris was cleared and dead plants & weeds removed to make way for the spring flowers & shrubs coming up in the next few months.
Works4U were on hand to supervise all volunteers, make sure they had all necessary equipment & tools, to delegate and provide advice on all tasks.
The challenge lasted for over 4 hours, in which time the groups rotated in order to each have a turn on each task, should they so wish. During the challenge the garden was cleared and pruned to perfection, and the whole Art Room painted to a professional standard, with two coats of magnolia paint to give a light & airy finish to the large space.
Charles Coase, head of the GAR team, said “The event was a great day for us, getting us out of our normal workplace, helping with our own team-building and working in the local community on a very worthy cause”.
We had the following feedback from the Head Teacher at Kenmont School;
‘Many thanks for organising another very successful day…Many thanks to the Diageo Team for volunteering at Kenmont Primary School. Your enthusiasm and hard work was a great example to our children and staff. The work that you completed has made a fantastic contribution to improving the learning facilities that we provide for our children. The Art Room, now light and airy, is being used as an additional classroom and I am sure the garden will soon be used as an additional learning space in which children can grow fruit and vegetables.’
For more information about team volunteer days in the local community, contact Works4U, firstname.lastname@example.org