Roots and Shoots charity experience | #MMKMillion

Submitted By Graham Long - Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:52

Last Friday, six enthusiastic employees set off to try their hand at gardening with Roots and Shoots and further contribute to the Morgan McKinley Million. As part of the Morgan McKinley Million each employee is given two days a year to volunteer for a charity of their choice. 

So far, one year on, through volunteering and fundraising efforts, we have contributed over €275,000 which is a fantastic start towards reaching our €1,000,000 goal.

Roots and Shoots  provides vocational training for young people from the inner city, mainly from the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. On arrival we met Andrew, who has worked with Roots and Shoots for a number of years and who has also seen a lot of fabulous changes since it opened in 1982. 

After learning about its history, we were all amazed to hear about some of the initiatives and the groups they help and we were astounded how far reaching there work is. From the local school children who may not get the chance to learn about nature through to providing therapeutic sessions for refugees who have had tough upbringings. It seems almost every part of society is benefiting from their work but their main aim is to provide young people with the skills and self confidence needed to help them in the future.

We began the day by refilling and rebuilding an old flower bed which was a bit of a culture shock from office life. It involved a lot of heavy lifting but it was a nice change of pace. We followed this up by splitting up and cover various areas of the grounds to tackle jobs such as painting, topping up soil, planting, weeding and cleaning. 

We then followed up on a task previously started by fellow colleagues and attempted to stop the nuisance that is bindweed. Unfortunately, there was just too much and we eventually called it a day. Bindweed 2 - MMK 0. 

It was a great overall experience which we would highly recommend to anyone who is interested in volunteering. Without the help of volunteers Roots and Shoots and similar charities would struggle to get by, so we are already looking forward to coming back again.