From number-crunching to paintbrush wielding: city-based accountants gets to work with a community volunteering day.

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Following the year-end rush, local accountancy firm were looking for something different to give them a much needed break from their finance work.

The Stoke-on-Trent based accountants had previously struggled to make a deep community connection and hadn’t managed to find something that appealed to them or a community group in need that they could really resonate with. So, in June 2023, Sempar’s Emily and Steve got in touch with VAST about a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunity for them to see how they can get involved and make a difference in their local community and make a meaningful contribution to society.

After some discussions with VAST’s Project Officer Sian about their interests, passions, and the ways in which they wanted to contribute, they were given a few options to see what appealed to them the most. And it was Walk Talk Action that was the perfect match.

Based in Fenton, Walk Talk Action work right across the city supporting local people experiencing mental health issues. They have a fantastic piece of land with two shipping containers and a nature retreat for people to get out and about in nature to help improve their mental health. The land is a work in progress, so the boost of a team volunteering day would make a real difference to the group and the people they support.

When the big day arrived, the Sempar volunteers got stuck right into sanding, removing chipped paint, and painting the shipping containers! The difference was visible in such a short space of time. It really is magic what a fresh coat of paint can do. Originally, the Sempar Team thought they’d get just the one container painted, but they were unstoppable; they managed to get both done, giving the site a fresh new look.

Now Sempar, didn’t want to stop there; this volunteering day with Walk Talk Action kickstarted an amazing relationship aimed at working together and supporting each other. To get their new relationship started, Sempar organised and covered the cost of brand-new signage at the site to shout about the group’s fantastic work and make sure everyone knows who Walk Talk Action are! And it was timed brilliantly as Walk Talk Action were hosting an open day just a week later.

Sempar plan to continue supporting Walk Talk Action, and we can’t wait to see what difference they make to the site on their next visit. Watch this space!

Feedback from Teri at Walk Talk Action:

What a difference a day makes…

We have had both cabins painted thanks to volunteers from Sempar and VAST it’s been a great day. They worked their socks off to get both cabins looking nice ready for our Open Day Celebration on the 30th June. We can’t thank you all enough! ❤️

We are so chuffed with the work carried out by Sempar volunteers!! It’s been such a massive job and for them to come along and paint both cabins in a day was unbelievable. I will be forever grateful. The staff were lovely and are a total credit to Sempar.

Thank you so much Sempar, it wasn’t just the painting it’s more than that. It’s a symbol of a trusted partnership and hope if anyone in the future ever needs WTA they feel they can come to us.

Feedback from Sempar Staff:

‘I enjoyed volunteering at WTA as the painting was very calming which contrasts being in a busy office. This was a great experience as it got me out of my comfort zone as well as making me more conscious about volunteering and how every little helps any cause. I will definitely do this again if the opportunity arises again with WTA!’

‘It was great to be able to re-invest in the local community with the Walk Talk Action initiative and to understand more about how they support the area. The team’s work with the charity gave us all a great sense of fulfilment from the project and we all look forward to supporting the charity further in the future.’

‘I thoroughly enjoyed giving some time to a valuable project, seeing the difference our collective effort had on the organisation and those that ran it was very pleasing.  I feel a genuine connection to that project now and will volunteer again to help them.’

‘It was my first experience volunteering for a good cause, and I have to say that I enjoyed taking part. After hearing the stories behind WTA, I understood how important their mission is and I look forward to volunteering again as and when they need it!’

We continue to promote CSR projects across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.