12 members of Abbeyfield staff from the HR, Communications, Learning & Development (L&D) and Volunteering Teams spent a day volunteering at Abbeyfield Winnersh care home near Wokingham.

The team was split into two groups, with 10 put to work on reshaping the allotment that residents will use to grow plants and vegetables for the home’s kitchen, to supplement the meals that they receive.

The allotment team, who were assisted by Winnersh’s Maintenance Lead, Dragos Zaharie, spent the day constructing a shed, creating raised beds for planting, introducing a path to provide safe wheelchair access, levelling off the ground, making space for no-dig patches and laying astro-turf.

The remaining two staff members spent the day with the residents, assisting with activities such as a fitness class and bingo.

"Our team had a fabulous day at Winnersh. The highlight was for the team to be able to meet the residents and spend some time getting to know the staff, as we rarely get to meet in person. The chance for us to interact personally with our residents are few and far between, so we were delighted to provide that opportunity as part of our team volunteering day. It definitely helped us to connect with our charity's purpose and what we are here to do at Abbeyfield. It was great to be able to give something back as a team."

Gail Manley, HR Director

The day was organised between Abbeyfield Volunteering Officer, Paul Colwill, and Winnersh’s Deputy Manager, James O’Keefe.

"Just by luck, two weeks before the team were due to come, we got the keys to our new allotment. We sourced some free slabs and sleepers from Facebook Marketplace, and everyone put their gardening gloves on and got stuck in - team work really does make the dream work! Their help has enabled us to be able to bring the residents to our allotment a lot sooner than envisioned, and it's also a nice break away from the home for them. From all at Abbeyfield Winnersh, a massive well done and thank you. DIY-SOS team, watch out - Team Abbeyfield is coming for you!"

James, Deputy Manager at Winnersh

"Volunteering is a central key value at Abbeyfield - the organisation was started by a volunteer and today engages with hundreds of volunteers worldwide, who occupy all sorts of different roles to enhance our residents' quality of life. Abbeyfield gives two days a year to each staff member to volunteer at any charity, but many staff, in particular those who work remotely, choose to give their time at Abbeyfield in order to develop a greater understanding of the ethos behind the organisation. It was a privilege to organise this day for Gail and her team and to join them at Winnersh, and I look forward to arranging for many more staff to volunteer at our houses and homes."

Paul Colwill, Volunteering Officer

Interested in volunteering at Abbeyfield?

We welcome volunteers of all ages and abilities and have countless roles to suit the amount of time you can give. Volunteering roles include gardening, looking after pet hens, befriender, activities assistants, admin support and many more.

Learn more about volunteering at Abbeyfield
Interested in volunteering at Abbeyfield? Image
Interested in volunteering at Abbeyfield? Image