Hard-working volunteers generously gave up their day to carry out tasks including painting, cleaning and gardening at a children’s hospice. It was part of PwC Cambridge’s ‘One Firm One Day’ initiative, where staff are given a few days a year to volunteer and fundraise for local community causes.
Every year staff nominate a local charity to dedicate their fundraising and volunteering towards. East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) was chosen this time due to its “compassionate and important work, which is close to the hearts of many of us”.
The team of 11 from Cambridge-based PwC – providers of assurance, tax, and business consulting services – paid a visit to the EACH base in Milton on Friday. They were Sue Rowley, Thai Wong, Sabina Niemier, Millie Smith, Simon Woodley, Adam Kwasnica, Lauren Archer, Grace Overy, Isabel Mee and Chloe Ashman, in addition to Thai’s husband, Jonathon.
Meanwhile, three of their colleagues, Shreya Garg, Annalee Neighbour and Rebecca Tutt, volunteered at EACH’s Cherry Hinton Road shop. Millie, Isabel and Chloe split their day so spent time at both the hospice and shop. They helped with tagging and hanging items, as well as working on the shop floor and serving customers on the till. The Milton-based team encountered soggy conditions but enjoyed the experience and were pleased to lend a hand.
Jim Mowatt, EACH facilities site manager, said: “A group of volunteers came in for the morning and soon got to work staining benches, cleaning up our entrance and attempting to save some of our lovely open spaces from rampant weeds. “Despite the rain, they worked under our garden shelter and showed real focus and concentration, applying several coats of wood preserver.
“Meanwhile, two colleagues worked at reclaiming the land at the rear of our Central Services building. I suggested they might want to come in out of the rain but they were determined to carry on. Another volunteer did a beautiful job cleaning up the entrance and then, in the afternoon, we had a changeover and the team switched their attention to our playground, tackling grime with our jet-washer and many brooms.”
At the same time, others worked on a second patch of earth at the back of the hospice. “They were now working in glorious sunshine but struggling a little with the task,” added Jim. “Towards the end of the day, the rest of the group left their tasks to help the diggers and it was soon de-weeded, levelled and ready for grass seed.
“Hopefully, in a few weeks’ time, it will join up with the rest of the lawn and look splendid.” The Milton hospice is in Church Lane and one of three run by EACH, which supports families and cares for children and young people across Cambridgeshire.
PwC Cambridge moved to a new home in the city’s St John’s Innovation Park, opposite the Cambridge Science Park, in 2019. PwC volunteers on the day said: “Every year we look forward to our volunteering day. Having it in person this year, and for such a great charity, was wonderful.”
“As a parent, I’m in awe of what EACH does for families in need. It was a great day trying to give back, even if we did get a bit wet at the beginning! It was great being able to get involved and support EACH for the day. I’m looking forward to the rest of the fundraising coming up for them this year.”
Sue Rowley, Community Affairs lead for PwC Cambridge, said: “A 17-strong posse spent the day at either the Milton hospice or the Cherry Hinton Road shop on Friday. “Everybody threw themselves into the variety of jobs that needed doing and thoroughly enjoyed being able to ‘make a difference’ for such a good cause.
“It was rewarding on all levels, with great teamwork and camaraderie throughout. A huge thanks to the EACH staff who were great company, and, despite facing a deluge at times, everyone was still smiling at the end of the day. When can we come back?”