Businesses in Lewisham are increasingly looking for ways to ‘give back’ to their local community.

Last December, the Filigree Communications team ventured into the Wildcat Wilderness, a community green space in Catford. More than half the team live locally and walk to work, so were all keen to give something back to an organisation doing great things on their doorstep. Like many other companies, a lot of the team’s day-to-day work is desk-based. Volunteering for the afternoon allowed them to step out of their office and into the fresh air of the community garden.

Having led the community engagement for Team Catford – who specialise in placemaking and meanwhile use – the Filigree team were familiar with the Wildcat Wilderness and its role as a physical space to bring strands of the community together.

Keen to spend the day doing physically demanding work, and fortunate enough to all be fit and healthy, the team chopped back a good few metres of thick brambles to reach a tree in need of rescue, removed some seriously deep-rooted weeds and collected cow parsley for bug hotels.

A far cry from their usual roles, the team learnt a lot about each-others working styles, and teamwork. When Maria at Wildcat Wilderness told the team to focus on rescuing a tree from the overgrowth, the team focused on the area together and found a great sense of achievement when they’d created a clear path to reach it.

The team also found it rewarding to know that they were contributing to the ongoing hard work that Wildcat Wilderness’s other volunteers do on the site week in week out.

Having built up a good relationship with the Wilderness, the Filigree team are keen to garden again in the future and build up the regular giving of their time. Giving your time can be just as valuable as donating money, and businesses can really get a lot out of it in return.

Not all volunteering opportunities require green fingers. To find out about others contact hello@lewishamlocal.com

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