On a rare sunny day in October, a team of 15 Midlands-wide members of staff from St James’s Place came together to complete a volunteering day with Stoke-on-Trent BID. Brokered by Totally Stoked, the day saw the group financial consultants help to develop a ‘Peace Garden’ in Hanley.

Emma from St James’s Place approached VAST as they were interested offering a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunity and Stoke-on-Trent was the ideal location.

After a consultation to identify their interests and goals, Stoke-on-Trent BID’s ‘Peace Garden’ was the perfect match. The garden had initially been created by a number of supporters and dedicated people from the local community, but it still needed some finishing touches.

Emma from St James Place said: “VAST gave us all the information we needed. They really guided us through what we needed to do as it was our first time doing one of these as a team. VAST was brilliant at finding us a suitable project, on the specific day we requested.”

When the big day arrived, the St James’ Place volunteers got stuck right into every task that was thrown their way! They started their day litter picking in the town centre, working as a team, and removed a huge amount of rubbish. After this, they upcycled some old scruffy-looking planters that were in desperate need of some love. After a bit of TLC, they were ready for some new plants.

They then helped to build some new benches to create some much-needed seating in the Peace Garden which is used regularly by clients from North Staffs Mind just next door.

Richard, BID CEO stated: “It was wonderful to have the guys from St. James’s Place here with us to help with work on our City Centre Peace Garden. What a great idea for large organisations to offer their services in the community – truly “giving something back”. Also, I have to say a special thank you to VAST for organising the day.”

Now that there was somewhere nice to sit and fresh planters ready to be filled, the garden can continue to be maintained by those who use it, creating a safe space where people can reflect, relax and enjoy being outside.

Feedback from St James’s Place staff included:

If you’d like your company to get involved in a CSR Project, we can help you!

Totally Stoked works across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire and can facilitate CSR opportunities to help support local charities and community groups. To find out more about how Totally Stoked arrange your next CSR day, please get in touch.