Green Space Rejuvenation Race | CSR Case Study

EE is one of the UK’s biggest businesses with around 25 million customers. Building and preserving relationships with all the communities they serve isn’t just core to their commercial success, it’s also key to the way they operate as a responsible and sustainable business.

As part of their dedication to their communities, EE and BT encourage their staff to take part in regular volunteering days. This is where we come in! VAST offers a free CSR Brokerage, helping companies find their perfect match within the VCSE sector.

Lynn, from EE, got in touch with our Totally Stoked Team to discuss her Team’s requirements. They only had around a month to use up the final day of their yearly allocated volunteering hours, and they were keen to not let them go to waste! Sian, one of our Project Officers, wasted no time in identifying a suitable project and after a chat, EE decided that Middleport Matters was a great fit for them.

Middleport Matters is a community organisation which aims to help make Middleport a safer, more welcoming, and thriving place to be. Their aims include:

  • Bringing people together and improve their sense of belonging.
  • To improve the health and wellbeing of local people.
  • To improve the built and natural environment and enhance the local reputation.
  • To support local business and encourage employment and enterprise.

They provide a wide range of services including:

  • Activities to reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing.
  • Projects with local and national partners.
  • Education and learning sessions.
  • Clean up and environmental projects to improve the local area.
  • School holiday activities.
  • 1 to 1 short term support for individuals.
  • Volunteering opportunities and work placements.

During the day, the team volunteered were going to tackle Newport Lane in Middleport. The area is a green space that is central to lots of residential housing, and it was in need of a spruce up to make it a lovely space for residents to enjoy.

Many of the surrounding houses are terraced without back gardens so having a welcoming green space is really important for their mental wellbeing, and to create a real sense of community.

There were a variety of tasks involved in the project, the biggest being weeding and clearing the overgrown areas, and it was painstaking work to get between all the slabs, but visually it made such a huge difference to the space!

The Team also sanded back the benches, primed and repainted them. They also managed to paint the planters and remove the weeds that had started to take over. They even created some artwork using recycled materials to brighten up the space.

Although they faced the cold and rain, they kept going! It was great to see the difference that EE made working together and generating lots of community interest with several members of the public stopping to ask the group what they were doing over the course of the day. And the community were incredibly grateful; they couldn’t say thank you enough!

Quotes from EE staff:

  • ‘It was so good getting out of the office as a team and doing something in the community.’
  • ‘Felt a real sense of purpose as you could visibly see that we had made a difference.’
  • ‘Great day was good to do something so different to our normal office-based job.’
  • ‘It was so much fun.’
  • ‘It was so easy to find a match through VAST. We have struggled to find projects in the past that the whole Team can be involved in, so it was great to be together whilst helping our community.’

Quote from Middleport Matters:

“It was great having EE/BT join us to complete the renovation of the community green space.  The team worked really hard and absolutely smashed off the tasks that needed to be completed.  They interacted with community members walking past and told them what they were doing and the responses were totally positive.  We have since had more positive feedback from people who use the space to walk their dogs and for daily exercise.  A massive thanks to the EE/BT team from all of us at Middleport Matters.” Alex Littlejohn Volunteer Co-Ordinator