Thick gauntlets were essential equipment for the University group as they cleared gorse bushes from Knocknairshill, overlooking Greenock and the Clyde Estuary. This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) whose grassland and fen habitat requires action to keep the gorse in check and to open up areas for other wildflower and plant species to flourish. Gorse is a tough and prickly customer, so the Uni staff had their work cut out to clear it back using loppers and bowsaws. This was the latest in a series of employee volunteering projects organised by TCV and the University, as Cara MacDowall, Volunteer Co-ordinator (University Services), explains:
“At The University of Glasgow there are four colleges supported by what are known as University Services, which comprises of offices including Residential Services, Human Resources, and Finance. Over a year ago a group of staff were tasked with developing a volunteering project for University Services to help improve cross-service working but also to increase the University’s contribution to the local community. The group agreed two partner organisations they would work with to deliver volunteering events for staff, with The Conservation Volunteers chosen as one of those partners. To date we have arranged five events with over 40 staff members from University Services in a variety of settings in and around Glasgow.”
Cara added: “The feedback has been really positive with all those who responded to our evaluation saying that they would like to do it again! Working outside and the sense of satisfaction seem to be the main motivators for our staff. Working with the Conservation Volunteers has been extremely easy. Chris Peach, Corporate Support Officer, and our link to the organisation, has been an excellent leader and communicator which makes arranging the events very straightforward. I would encourage anyone thinking about starting to volunteer to contact TCV. They are a great organisation and have a lot to offer someone wanting a new, outdoors experience.”
Employee action days are a great way for organisations to improve bonds between their own staff, and to put something back into the local community. TCV is very experienced in organising these events with a range of organisations including RBS, Sky and Bank of Scotland. Any organisation wishing further information about employee action days with TCV should contact Chris Peach, Corporate Support Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chris on 07740 899558.