Volunteers Join Forces in Foxwood

Every year York Cares runs a Big Community Challenge in which a local space is transformed in just three days. This year, the chosen site was Foxwood Community Centre which has recently had huge cuts to its funding, leaving the Management Committee wondering how they would manage.

Over the course of the challenge, just fewer than 200 employee-volunteers from 17 local companies joined forces to help give the centre a boost, transforming an under-used play area into a community garden. It is hoped that the changes will mean that local people will be more likely to hire out the centre for events, helping to generate much-needed income.

The challenge would not have been possible without the efforts of our volunteers, nor without the expert knowledge of Evora Construction who provided staffing, materials and advice on many aspects of the project. The dedication of Richard Elam and Mark Reynolds, Directors of Evora Construction, has now also been acknowledged by the Prime Minister, David Cameron through his Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

The duo, who also assisted with the Big Community Challenge in 2012 and 2013, are involved with every step of the project, right through from the planning stages to project management and design and site management. They also call on their supply chains to donate materials and labour for the challenges. The pair commented that the experience is ‘hugely rewarding as well as a great way for the community to come together and have fun through hard work.’

There was certainly no shortage of hard work or fun on this challenge. The volunteers gave nearly 600 hours of time and had smiles on their faces throughout. Volunteers commented on the sense of community spirit at the event, and City of York Council employee Laura Dixon, who had not volunteered with York Cares before, said that she will ‘definitely be putting her hand up again’.

York Cares is delighted that two of our volunteers have been recognised nationally for their good deeds in the city, and would also like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to all of the volunteers who supported the Big Community Challenge and helped to make Foxwood Community Centre a better place.