Hammerson comes together to support our communities

28 Jun 2019

Hammerson's 12th Annual Community Day was a success! Read about what happened on the day...

For the 12th year running, Team Hammerson left office en masse to participate in activities to benefit our local communities. In total, over 250 colleagues participated in Community Day 2019, volunteering over 2,000 hours for 21 good causes.

Here is a snapshot of some of the new and exciting projects Hammerson supported this year:

1. Dundrum – St. Michael’s House

Dundrum Town Centre Community Day 2019 was held in St. Michael’s House (SMH) in Goatstown – 5 minutes from Dundrum Town Centre. The unit runs a day centre for people with intellectual disabilities. Volunteers from Dundrum Town Centre went to SMH to weed and clear out the garden, paint benches, paint the inside of the unit, create decorative tyres to fill with plants, power hose the yard and decorate the garden with art that SMH service users had created prior to our visit. Members of the unit and staff gave our volunteers a helping hand with potting plants and raking the garden; showing who the day was helping out.

The Dundrum volunteers were treated to a drum session during the day; drumming, singing songs and dancing with the SMH members. A young man called Patrick memorably challenged Don Nugent to a drum off. Don stood no chance and Patrick was crowned best drummer of the day! A fabulous day enjoyed by all!

2. Brent Cross – The LOOP

In North London, volunteers from Brent Cross and King’s Place got stuck in with up-cycling furniture for The LOOP at Grahame Park in Barnet. The project is a community reuse enterprise hub which has transformed a piece of land on the estate into a space for the collection, refurbishment and redistribution of household items. This helps to equip local people with the skills to reuse more, prevents useful resources from going to landfill and improve the local environment. All the items repurposed are sold in their charity shop at an affordable price. Great for the planet and its people!

Our volunteers spent the day giving old furniture a new lease of life. At the start of the day, everyone chose a chair to work on for the day. Some were reupholstered; some sanded and stained, and some painted. One chair was completely forgotten as the volunteer got a bit side-tracked working on the shops’ signage– naming no names….Conrad. By the end of the day, there were over 12 pieces of furniture ready to sell as well as a freshly painted shop-front. The story doesn’t end here though; The LOOP has been invited to Brent Cross to use a vacant unit to promote the sales of their furniture and their initiative.

3. Silverburn – Dams to Darnely

The Silverburn team volunteered at their local Country Park, Dams to Darnley; it’s a location the team support passionately and returns to year on year. The rangers at the site always put them to hard work and this year was no different! To start with the team cleared out land drains to prevent rainwater from flooding the paths. Then they removed a huge patch of the invasive non-native plant called Himalayan Balsam which had taken over an area near the river. This was truly a satisfying task with immediate benefits. Any stresses were surely worked out as the team pulled up the shallow-rooted plants.

Finally, the volunteers helped cut back some vegetation around a pond and wildflower meadow to help enhance the biodiversity value and beauty of the sites. The rain was threatening all day but the site managed to keep dry until about 2 pm when the traditional Scottish heavens opened. Nevertheless, the team really enjoyed getting out to nature for the day and getting stuck in for a fantastic local cause.

4. Highcross 'Community Week' – Wishes 4 Kids

Highcross pulled out all the stops and with the centre taking part in its annual Community Week! Over the week, the team volunteered over 150 hours, both onsite in the mall and at off-site activities.

On-site saw the opening of a Pop-up shop for Wishes 4 Kids, a local charity who help sponsor wishes for children that are life-limited, terminally ill, experienced life-changing physical or emotional traumas and abuse. Our volunteers prepared the shop, designed the marketing, constructed a wishing well, ran fun competitions, and engaged with the public – all whilst dressed as purple fairies of course!

Off-site, volunteers helped to build a sculpture with the Leicester Environmental Rangers to raise awareness about plastic pollution in Leicester’s waterways. Once complete the sculpture will stand at over 6m tall, made from plastic found in rivers, and will be placed near the King Power football stadium ready for the 2019-20 season. Additionally, the Highcross team delivered a CV workshop for young adults with learning difficulties, with the charity TwentyTwenty.

It’s been a very busy, but hugely rewarding, week and truly demonstrates Highcross’ commitment to the local community.

5. London – Spitalfield’s City Farm

In East London, near the Goodsyard development site, 27 colleagues volunteered at Spitalfields City Farm. The Farm is a community space which gives people the opportunity to connect with nature whilst in the heart of the city and promote the benefits of healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

Volunteers helped to paint new benches, muck out the animals and move huge quantities of soil for new raised beds. Shout out to Mark B who performed a herculean effort and shoveled manure for the whole day! A special task for the day was prepping and beautifying the farm ready for a wedding due to take place the following day! 

Take a look at more photos from across the 21 community activities that took place across the UK and Ireland on the 20th June: