Last week, 13 members of staff volunteered at Dandelion Time in East Farleigh, who we have been supporting since November last year.
Dandelion Time offer to help children with challenging emotional issues, often resulting from trauma, violence, or serious health difficulties. Their approach is family based and creates opportunities for new beginnings and improved relationships.
Our team volunteered at their ‘Maidstone HQ’, also known as ‘The Cottage’, which occupies 22 acres of fields, gardens, and woodland, providing families an area to play and connect with one another. Their resident chickens, sheep, donkey’s, guinea pigs and 2 cats ensure there is no shortage of jobs for families to become involved in.
Team A, consisted of Chloe, Rob, Lee, Jo, Paul, Ross, and Colin, who took the Tuesday shift. Their roles revolved around garden maintenance, building large planters for fruit and veg to be grown into, as well as preparing many plant beds inside their greenhouse, ready for seeds to be planted into them in the forthcoming months.
We asked our colleagues for some feedback on their volunteering experience.
Jo said “I’d been really keen to volunteer at Dandelion Time ever since we chose them as our company charity, they're such a deserving cause and we wanted to get involved as much as possible. The day we spent there was hard work, but really rewarding and in addition to helping them it was a good team-building exercise for us as well. I’m looking forward to going back at some point to volunteer again.”
Rob, also from Team A said 'After 18 months living through a pandemic it was very rewarding to help and support a local charity who may have struggled without volunteering being available. This meant we could we finish some existing projects and help develop the outstanding work Dandelion Time do for families that need it.'
Team B, consisted of Ellie H, Matt, Phil, Ellie G, Jordan, and Louise, who took the Wednesday shift. This team focused more on the design side of the Dandelion Time site, by spending their day repainting outdoor areas, as well as fixing and building new features for the children to use in the garden.
Phil said “Dandelion Time is such a worthwhile cause. It’s so rewarding to be able to help a charity so they can help local families that need it. Matt and I built two swing seats and concreated on of them in place, we also had to recut some parts that were missing from the kit. We removed a fence with Jordan, and she then trimmed the grass.”
Ellie German, from Team B said 'I wanted to volunteer at Dandelion Time as we are taking part in Tough Mudder with all money raised going to this charity. It felt like a good opportunity to learn more about the work they do and get involved in a project. I enjoyed spending the day with people from different departments and working outside all day. Hopefully, we get the opportunity to return and help with more projects.'
We will continue to support Dandelion Time in 2022 and hope to volunteer our time again once we are able to do so.