A helping hand for communities in 2021

A helping hand for communities in 2021

This year, we supported organisations and charities across Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Bath and Bristol.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdowns and restrictions made volunteering difficult in 2020, but once restrictions were eased, our volunteering teams were able to start supporting a wider range of local charities and organisations.

From cleaning beaches and packing food supplies to making improvements to schools and community farms, our volunteers helped to make a real difference in their communities this year.

Here are some of the things they got up to in 2021.

Wiltshire

The Willows Care Farm in Broughton Gifford, near Melksham, provides support to children, young people and adults with special educational needs through a range of activities.

Three teams volunteered at the farm to help complete practical tasks at the new site. Volunteering activities included building a water-themed play area, installing fencing, digging a pig wallow, building a shop counter and general horticultural tasks.

Towards the end of summer, we also provided Corsley Wildflower Meadow with a volunteering team to help clear the meadow ready for the autumn and winter months.

A water-themed play area built by our volunteers at The Willows Care Farm.

Dorset

Dorset is renowned for its beautiful beaches along the Jurassic Coast, but plastic waste is increasingly washing up on their shorelines.

Working with Dorset Wildlife Trust, we carried out three separate beach cleans at Chesil Beach to pick up washed-up rubbish and litter.

Two volunteering teams also worked with Litter Free Dorset to help clean Hive Beach and another team carried out a litter pick at Bowleaze Beach.

A litter pick at Chesil Beach.

Somerset

In April, volunteers attended Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre to clear paddocks and paint duck homes. Later in July, volunteers also made garden improvements at In The Mix Projects’ youth centre in Wiveliscombe.

During autumn, a team visited Draycott Sleights, a nature reserve owned by Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT), to cut and remove brambles and branches from the nature spot.

A group of volunteers also visited Winford in North Somerset to help Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART) plant trees.

Volunteers removing brambles and branches from Draycott Sleights.

Bath

Bath City Farm aims to help disadvantaged people and people with disabilities, while also boosting wellbeing through horticulture, farming and nature.

Throughout the year, a total of six volunteering teams worked with the charity to repair steps, clean paths, build fences, clear a pond and trim hedges.

Over the Christmas period, our volunteers also worked with The Salvation Army to pack toys and prepare food hampers for children and families in Bath.

Volunteers repairing steps at Bath City Farm.

Bristol

We provided Lawrence Weston Community Farm with volunteers on four separate occasions. Our teams helped to forage for supplies, build benches, trim hedges and install fencing.

Our volunteers also helped to keep rivers in Bristol clean by working with BART. They carried out river cleans in the Hazel brook, the Malago and the Pigeonhouse Stream.

Additionally, three volunteering teams assisted Bristol North West Food Bank in packing Christmas hampers for people in the area who required food supplies over the festive period.

Fence building at Lawrence Weston Community Farm.

If you need assistance with a community or environmental project, we may be able to help through our Water Force volunteering programme.

Written by

Tom Thomson

Junior Content Writer