A group of dedicated volunteers have big clean up at Kelham Island
Streets Ahead give budding gardeners a root to success
Employees at Streets Ahead in Sheffield have been making valuable contributions to local community groups and charities, as part of Amey’s commitment to giving each of its 19,000 UK employees a paid day-off to support local projects.
Staff working on the city’s highways contract have been involved in numerous charitable initiatives over the years and continue to welcome the chance to give back in the areas where they live and work.
“We get some wild and wonderful ideas,” said Streets Ahead Community and Employee Engagement Officer, Helen Johnson.
“Some people take the chance to support a charity they have been involved with for years whilst others just get stuck in with an organisation they’ve come across during their day job. I do one every year and it’s always great fun.”
This year, several local community groups and schools in Sheffield have benefited from Amey’s community commitment, including Cherrytree Support Services in Totley, which offers accommodation, support, and in-house counselling for 16 to 21-year-olds in Sheffield.
A group of employees cleared overgrowth and brambles and constructed a space for new beehives- with honey bees due to arrive any day now.
Anthony Newall, one of the key project workers at Cherrytree, said of the work: “The guys worked on the task at hand like champions! They talked through what we wanted, explained their plans and were really accommodating to all our needs.
“We really appreciated their help and want to say a big thank you to each and every one of them for their support.”
Honey bees provide an array of benefits for flower populations - transferring pollen between plants, allowing them to produce seeds, fruit and vegetables.
Bee-keeping is also said to be beneficial for mental health - encouraging team working, socialising and promoting outdoor activity.
At Brightside Nursery and Infant School, Amey workers helped to create a wildlife garden and forest school. The ‘magnificent seven’ cleared the grounds, created an edging for a sensory path and built raised beds; Streets Ahead also donated topsoil, wood chippings and bird and bat boxes.
Alongside the school’s Green Team, Amey helped attract more wildlife to the garden by introducing bird feeders and upgrading the five-star ‘bug hotel’, as well as speaking to Year One pupils about the types of fruit and vegetables they could grow at school.
The Royal Horticultural Society is a big supporter of school gardening, saying that ‘there can be few more rewarding experiences – for either children or adults – than watching the seeds they have sown, sometimes more in hope than expectation, push up through the soil and grow into beautiful flowers or vegetables that they can pick and eat’.
But Amey’s work doesn’t end there. The Arboriculture team recently lent a hand at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield, which cares for people aged 18 and above who are affected by terminal illness. Its fabulous grounds include many mature trees, so the team got to work clearing undergrowth and overgrown bushes, as well as pruning several trees.
Steve Hogg, Facilities Manager at St Luke’s commended the team’s efforts at the time, saying: “I’d like to say a big thanks to the Amey volunteers, they were a really nice bunch of people and I hope they enjoyed their time here as well.”
Amey Plc supports many charities through its community involvement programme, including Help for Heroes, Scope and the Royal British Legion as well as sports, animal welfare, Armed Forces and ex-offender charities to name but a few.
To find out more about the Streets Ahead programme visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead
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