A brilliant team-building event

Almost 50 volunteers from The Copyright Licensing Agency, Publishers Licensing Society and Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society arrived at Nunhead Cemetery for an environmental volunteering day. We couldn’t have hoped for better weather - the sun was shining, not a rain cloud in sight!

After being introduced to me and representatives from Quadron Services, a specialist green space management company, Southwark Council and Friends of Nunhead Cemetery, the volunteers were divided into teams.  One set to work in the Lewisham View area of the cemetery. It was so overgrown with brambles, you could no longer read the gravestones. By the end of the day, the entire area was clear and a huge pile of cuttings was ready for the bonfire.  

Another team laid 100 metres of anti-slip matting on a footpath to make it safer for visitors and prevent erosion.  Other volunteers cut down thin trees to create a hedge to preserve the wetlands meadow. By the end of the day, the volunteers had created an impressive 50 metres of hedging.

After a well-deserved lunch, Jeff from Friends of Nunhead Cemetery told us all about the history of the cemetery. This helped the volunteers to see the significance of their work in maintaining a historic and important London landmark.

The teams who manage the cemetery were hugely impressed by the amount of work the volunteers accomplished. With limited resources and time, this kind of work would take much longer without the support of volunteer groups. The volunteers worked incredibly hard; all felt a sense of ownership over their team’s area and were eager to ensure that the work was completed by the end of the day. I see this motivation and hard work at every employee volunteering event we run, and I’m continually impressed by how much can be achieved in just a few hours.

Nicola Girling from The Copyright Licensing Agency said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed our time at Nunhead Cemetery - it was a brilliant team-building event, with a great sense of achievement at the end of it.”

Many of the volunteers said they had never volunteered before, and many others had never done this kind of environmental work. I heard some say with surprise that the day had been much more enjoyable than they’d expected. As well as being beneficial to the local community and natural environment, volunteering really benefits the volunteers themselves. These activities help to develop team-building, communication and problem solving skills, not to mention the practical skills gained!

If you’d like to get together with your workmates for a day of environmental volunteering, do get in touch at calley@timebank.org.uk or give me a call on 0203 111 0700.