Leave for Leaves: How one of our teams used their paid volunteering leave to tidy up the gardens for a local children’s hospice


Category: Blog

team volunteering at children's hospice

Giving back to local communities is part of our culture at St. Modwen Logistics and recently, our customer and markets’ team decided to make use of a day of their paid volunteering leave to help out in the gardens at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Selly Oak Birmingham.

The dedicated team at Acorns provide specialist palliative care for life limited babies, children and young people, and vital support for their families. This support is offered from the charity’s three hospices, based in Worcester, Birmingham and Walsall, and in the community.

A parent never imagines their child will be diagnosed with a life limiting or life- threatening condition; however, when the unimaginable happens, Acorns Children’s Hospice steps in, helping families cope at every stage of their child’s life and beyond, wherever and whenever they need it.

Whilst the work undertaken by the staff and volunteers at Acorns Children’s Hospice is priceless, running three hospices does not come cheap – especially with energy prices rising and donations falling due to the strain on household incomes. Indeed, it costs around £10 million a year to run Acorns’ care services in the hospices and community, providing care for the child and support for families.

The team volunteered at the charity’s original hospice in Selly Oak, founded thirty years ago where the large garden provides a wonderful setting for the children and their parents to enjoy. Full of mature trees, beautiful flowers, plants and sculptures; the garden provides a place for fun, sensory experiences and family time as well as areas for reflection and remembering. The garden is also enjoyed by the staff, volunteers and visitors (including a variety of birds, insects and small mammals who call the garden home).

During the day, team members weeded and tidied up the memorial garden, a space for families to reflect and remember children who have passed away. They also tidied up, swept and weeded other areas of the gardens so that they were looking their best; including the wooded play area and entrance to the therapy pool.

Despite (unforecast) torrential rain for a couple of hours (and a lack of waterproof clothing), the team carried on undeterred and agreed that their temporary discomfort was nothing compared to challenges faced by the families who rely on this amazing local charity.

As a newly-formed team, the day at Acorn’s Children’s Hospice was a great opportunity for  people to get to know each other better and to give back to the local community, as some of the comments below demonstrate. In the end, volunteering at Acorns Children’s Hospice was a meaningful experience for the team, allowing them to give back to their community while strengthening their bond as a newly-formed group.

“The volunteering day with the Acorns Children’s Hospice was a great opportunity for me to meet my new colleagues in a more relaxed setting, and do something we wouldn’t normally do. I found it really useful to get an introduction to the history of the charity and an insight into the amazing work they do with the children, and the way they support the children’s families. Despite the weather, the context that we were given around the work were doing on the day, really helped to keep us motivated. I would definitely recommend that others take the opportunity to go and volunteer for a day with their team.”

Dan Cawdron, Customer & Relationship Manager

“It’s great to be part of a company that supports these volunteering days, helping us give back to the local community. We had a fantastic team day at Acorns Children’s Hospice weeding and tidying the garden area, helping to create a welcoming and peaceful escape for the children and their families. To know we contributed to this, even in a small way, is an honour.”

Rebecca Duncan, Senior Marketing & Communications Executive

“This was my first experience of a corporate volunteering day, and I loved it! It was a great way to spend time with the team outside of the office, and I really enjoyed the sense of achievement that we all felt at the end. Learning that the Hospice supports children with such a wide range of conditions and needs was very eye-opening, as was hearing about the support they give to siblings, parents and grandparents as well.”

Claira Smith-Wilson, Senior Marketing & Communications Executive