Hammerson Plc have recently relocated to Marble Arch, and colleagues have been quick to offer their time and skills to support the local community. As part of our Community Programme, Marble Arch BID worked closely with Hammerson to deliver four volunteering events on 9 June 2023 to celebrate their Giving Back Day, with volunteers from across the organisation taking the day to participate in initiatives supporting causes near to their offices.
A team of 17 colleagues headed to Marylebone Boys’ School, where they worked with around 50 local students in Year 12. Colleagues sat with students for 45-minute sessions which featured a mock interview, CV support and an opportunity for the pupils to ask questions about a broad range of careers. This opportunity enabled students to gain some experience in presenting themselves professionally and to get another perspective on their plans for the future. Careers activities such as these are even more important following years of disruption to education during the pandemic – current Year 12 students have had their schooling hugely impacted by lockdowns and access to traditional work experience and employer engagement events were greatly reduced across 3 academic years. These initiatives offer students the opportunity to build confidence in their ideas for the future, and enable them to use those working locally as a soundboard for their professional plans and thoughts on careers.
I just wanted to say a big thank you from us, please pass on our thanks to the team of volunteers. The feedback we have had from the students has been amazing. I spoke to a group of the students who participated, and they said their interviews/CV sessions were so inciteful and that they loved speaking with their interviewers.
Sarah Wilkins, Marylebone Boys’ School
A second team of volunteers pulled on their gardening gloves and braved the blazing heat at Blomfield Road Garden. The garden is a patch of land adopted by children at Edward Wilson Primary School and maintained by environmental tutors from Plant Environment. Volunteers worked alongside an environmental tutor to sand and paint seats and planters in bright colours across the garden, to create both a luxury bug hotel and a bug hostel, and to make the area a welcoming and vibrant place for children to safely enjoy the outdoors and learn about the natural world.
Our third group of Hammerson colleagues flexed their culinary prowess and board game skills at Open Age. 11 volunteers worked together to prepare a 3-course lunch for 30 local older people, then led a games afternoon, with Articulate, Rummikub and dominoes all making an appearance. This was a fantastic opportunity for colleagues to engage with local older people and provide a day of companionship – alongside a hearty meal – to those who may have found themselves particularly isolated during the pandemic.
A huge thank you from us all over here for all the hard work from the lovely team on Friday. All the members stated how much fun they had. I am just so happy the day was so enjoyable.
Hannah Munns, Open Age
Our final team of Hammerson volunteers picked up their paintbrushes and got to work brightening up the walls at the Tresham Centre for Disabled Children & Young People. Colleagues made quick work of removing scuff marks on the walls and making rooms a fresher, more welcoming space ahead of the summer play scheme beginning.
We’re so grateful to our fantastic Hammerson volunteers from teams across the organisation for spending their Giving Back Day supporting local groups here in Westminster. If you have been inspired by the fantastic work of Hammerson colleagues and would like to get your Marble Arch team involved in similar initiatives, get in touch with our Community Team to see how you can help out locally.