Published 5th December 2018.
DE&S staff volunteered their time to support Bristol charity, Elm Tree Farm, as part of the organisation’s continued relationship with Brandon Trust
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Members of DE&S Corporate Engineering Function Management Team have volunteered at a working farm that provides vocational and employment training opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism.
The group, which included 11 people from DE&S’s Abbey Wood and Devonport sites, went to Elm Tree Farm in Bristol, managed by the Brandon Trust.
More than 50 people with learning disabilities work at the farm which has a variety of livestock and sells home-grown produce in its onsite shop, giving them important vocational and employment skills.
The group, who were joined by their 1*, helped tidy communal areas and organise storage sheds at the 47-acre site. The team also helped build an animal shed base which included cementing a slab base.
“We are already planning our next volunteering day with the Brandon Trust and it’s fantastic that DE&S is supporting the Outreach programme”
Amanda Osmond, Corporate Engineering Capability Team, said: “It was great to see our team really getting stuck in and giving maximum effort to the jobs we were given.”
Elm Tree Farm operates care farming which is the therapeutic use of farming to provide health and social care for adults and children with additional needs.
“Working with some of the service users was lovely,” Amanda said.
“One guy in particular became a new team member and helped dig the hole for the next shed base to be laid for their small animal enclosure. We are already planning our next volunteering day with the Brandon Trust and it’s fantastic that DE&S is supporting the Outreach programme”
As well as providing help to the charity, the team, which manages the DE&S Engineering Function including the Engineering graduate and apprentice development schemes, used the experience as a team building day, bringing together senior level staff, new recruits and those not located at Abbey Wood.
Dr Jon Cook, Corporate Engineering Function Manager said: “The Elm Tree Farm day was a brilliant team-building opportunity for my team and was a great way for us to contribute to the inspiring work of the Brandon Trust.”
Lorna Stubbs, Devonport Apprentice Training Manager added: “As I work in Devonport, I really enjoyed the day as it gave me an opportunity to get to know members of the Engineering function, putting faces to names.
“It was great to do something beneficial for the local community too, especially those that really need our support.”