At Aston-Mansfield we love all our volunteers, but on Friday 2nd August we had a few more than normal. Barclays bank sent us 71 Volunteers as part of their graduate scheme. It was all hands on deck as we came up with three projects for the volunteers to get involved in. 50 of them joined the Children’s work summer play scheme and the remaining 21 were split between arts and crafts projects with our special needs youth group and gardening at Little Ilford youth zone.

Whilst verging on organised chaos at times the day went off without a hitch and we have had some brilliant feedback from Barclays who said their volunteers had a wonderful time.

The Go-Kart team were paired in teams of 4 (2 volunteers and 2 children) each building, decorating – and eventually racing 2 Go-Karts. The groups went all out with their decorating, including glitter, stickers, pom poms, a nose cone and even a balloon or two among the decorations. All 50 Go-Karts were wheeled up the road to nearby school Sir John Heron, to race around a track that we had set up. It was a very loud, very colourful and extremely fun activity.

Meanwhile back at the Froud Centre, 15 volunteers were undertaking a variety of arts and crafts activities with the Young Achievers Group (YAG), our youth group catering to young people ages 16-25 with learning disabilities and special educational needs. They made mosaic plant pots and also built bird and bug boxes for the garden which they decorated. The finished articles were brilliant and have been brightening up the courtyard area at the Froud Centre. Thanks to Barclays support this day ran in addition to the 2 week summer programme for YAG and was something both the young people themselves and their parents were appreciative of.

Finally 15 (very strong) Volunteers headed to Little Ilford youth zone to completely revamp their garden area! Horace Lewis, in charge of the Youth Zone was overwhelmed with how much they achieved (filling 4 huge skip bags with garden waste).

On behalf of the young people of Little Ilford Centre and myself we wish to thank you all for a memorable day and for your wonderful support and contribution to our garden project

We would like to reiterate his thanks, it is certainly not a day that we will forget and we look forward to working with Barclays on similar projects in the future.  If you are interested in corporate volunteering opportunities at Aston-Mansfield, please click here.

See below for some more photos of the day: