“Many hands make light work” might have first been uttered by English author John Heywood, but it was poetry in motion as our team joined in the Great British Spring Clean.
Teaming up with NE1 for its Keep Britain Tidy campaign, our trusty green fingered marketeers were eager to help out, led by chief executive Kieron Goldsborough and executive chair Ben Quigley.
NE1’s two-week Great British Spring Clean was organised alongside Newcastle City Council to clean up the city centre. Having recently merged our Different Advertising and Narrative operations into Different Narrative, we were keen to lead by example and get our hands dirty for a great cause.
Having joined the team little more than a month ago as a PR and Content Manager, it was a first opportunity for me to get to know my colleagues outside of the office, while helping out with a worthy cause.
No fewer than 12 of us made our way along to the Church of St John the Baptist in Grainger Street, and after a short briefing, we were soon donning our fetching hi-vis clothing and gardening gloves!
With some of the team reaching quickly for the litter pickers, and others assigned to replanting beds in the bizarrely warm Newcastle sunshine, two peers and I got to work with turning over an area at the back of the church grounds, clearing out weeds, watering the refreshed beds and laying down seeds.
I’ve always been a keen gardener – at least at home, where I can only mess up my own, or my mother’s garden – so it didn’t take long until I was back in the swing of things. There’s something about volunteering for other people, rather than family, that makes the work that little bit more satisfying.
Being located in the heart of Newcastle city centre, staff from the church do work to keep on top of the state of the church grounds, but often find that on Monday mornings, the weekend partygoers have left a trail of new activity that needs to be attended to.
Through the course of the afternoon the team managed to gather up 12 large bin bags of waste, albeit a mixture of cigarette butts, weeds, old shrubs or plants that needed replacing, as well as the standard cartons from takeaway delights gone by.
Did you know the church actually comes with its own colony of bees? Nope, this was news to me too! The Geordie Bees were installed on the roof in 2013 and are the main source of honey for the Grainger Street Honey product.
Now that we’ve spruced up the grounds and planted some new flowers for them to enjoy, you might see a bit more of a buzz about the place!
Right from our inception, one of our key motivators at Different Narrative has been to create change for good. If you have a volunteering project we can support on, say hello.