It’s not just spirits that have been lifted across Walsall Manor, as thoughtful staff from commercial real estate company Avison Young (AY) have been litter picking, weeding, and renovating picnic benches on the hospital grounds as part of their annual Day of Giving.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the global organisation’s volunteering programme. Staff from the Birmingham region (based in Brindleyplace), have given up their time in the hopes that staff, patients and visitors will “make use of some lovely areas.”
Each year, the Day of Giving – part of the ‘Portraits of progress’ Impact Report – allows staff to give up working hours to give back. This could be to the local community, or an organisation that really means something to colleagues personally. A group of seven who wouldn’t ordinarily work together chose Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust – spanning teams including HR, Accounts, and Admin Services – but with the joint aim to make a difference.
Sarah Arnott, Executive Support Team Assistant Manager at Avison Young, said: “We decided we wanted to support the hospital and met with Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager for the Trust charity, Well Wishers. We ran through what the day would look like and what we could help with – Georgie helped us arrange it all.
“We want people to feel supported and that they have a place to let off some steam. There is some lovely greenery next to the new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre, so we hope people can enjoy it a little bit more now,” she added.
Giving back to Walsall Manor is something very close to the heart of Narinder Kudhail, who works as Diversity and Inclusion Business Partner at the company.
“I gave birth at the hospital during Covid. The staff were so attentive and even though it was a scary time, I look back with fond memories as I was so well looked after.
“I remember thinking that I wished others were able to have the same experience as me. I also loved the food which was a bonus!”
Elizabeth Worley and Nigel Onions are both local residents. Elizabeth volunteers for Walsall Community Litter Watch, so took the opportunity to continue this as part of her employer’s annual initiative. Nigel, who lives in Willenhall, had his appendix removed at Walsall Manor nine years ago to the day.
He said: “I had a really positive experience, and I was given excellent after care. When the Day of Giving came around for this year, I wanted to do something for my local community.”
Narinder added: “Alongside supporting the Trust, today has given all of us the opportunity to get to know each other better as colleagues. There are positives on both sides, which is great to be a part of.”
Georgie Westley said the charity had been pleased to help Avison Young pull the session together.
“And seeing the volunteers make good an outside seating area that is now suitable for visitors and staff to use is a real bonus. Thank you to everyone who played their part.”