It's December and time for dozens of volunteers from CMPP partners to head off canal-side to help clear the millions of leaves which cover the nine acres of grounds at Frimhurst Family House. Yes - our last Annual Volunteering Day of 2023 had begun!
On a cold, wet day, buoyed up by mulled wine and an assortment of other delicious refreshments courtesy of our friends at Asahi, mince pies and accompanied by the obligatory sound track of Christmas songs, the merry crew set about the task with gusto!
Almost 100 Volunteers from 16 Member partners participated in this year's clear up - take a massive Yuletide bow:
Alphabet Amazon Filters Asahi Aviator
BMW Farnborough Airport JAE MAPP Signwrite Studios Stewart & Co Sunlife of Canada Syneos Health
Talk Technology YRH Finance UK Connect 360 Mortgages
By the end of the day, once Santa's quad bike sleigh had removed yet another huge bag of fallen leaves, as if by magic (but really by hard graft!) the road up to the house was clear, play areas had emerged and the grounds were (mostly) clear so the Elves could enjoy a well-deserved sausage roll!
Frimhurst Family House, part of ATD Fourth World, provides vulnerable families with respite from poverty, discrimination and social exclusion. The residential programme at Frimhurst promotes the well-being of the whole family by providing a safe environment to build confidence, make new friends, learn new skills and create happy memories. Set beside the Basingstoke Canal, Frimhurst is a Victorian manor house; its facilities include a computer room, library, games room, art studio, nursery, community garden, professional kitchen, outdoor playgrounds and four self-contained flats.
In the past year, around nearly 200 volunteers from 28 CMPP partners have completed a number of projects supporting the on-going development of Frimhurst including work to complete the Cedar House - a brand new timber framed building in the grounds which will, when finished, provide more residential and social space for families.
Rachel Austen who manages the relationship between CMPP and Frimhurst, looked back on the successes of 2023: 'In total, volunteers have contributed around 900 hours of free labour over the year, equating to almost £20,000 in monetary value: truly significant, transformational support for Frimhurst by CMPP volunteers. This is an amazing effort!'
Simon Jarvis, CMPP CEO, had this to say:
'Xmas angels don't have wings - they have rakes!'
Merry Christmas everybody!