Animal magic for volunteers

A group of volunteers from Lloyds banking group went to Ponderosa to do some cleaning as part of a community project they do. (d01081146)
A group of volunteers from Lloyds banking group went to Ponderosa to do some cleaning as part of a community project they do. (d01081146)

A TEAM of bankers took a day off from counting cash to help out at Ponderosa.

The staff from Lloyds Banking Group spent last Thursday getting their hands dirty in the farm as part of a project to help out community groups.

Communications manager Vaseem Aslam said the group chose Ponderosa because of the work the park’s rural therapeutic centre did with disabled and disadvantaged young people.

He said Lloyds workers travelled from across the UK to take part in the volunteering day, which is part of the organisation’s Our Day to Make a Difference programme, giving all its employees the chance to spend one day a year during work time volunteering for a charity or community project.

He said: “We arrived at 10.30am to be greeted by the site manager Debbie. She gave us all a quick health and safety overview and then we were allocated a day supervisor to work with.

“I was given the chicken coop to look after. My first task was to clean up the old hay, give the area a wash and then lay down some new hay and feed the chickens. Other groups did similar work with different animals.

“A lady called Emma Stephenson travelled all the way from Southampton and Seo McGinn from Glasgow for the day just to clean the meerkats’ den down.

“They were working in cramped conditions on a very warm day but did a sterling job. Even the meerkats appreciated the help!

“At the end of the day we presented Ponderosa with a wheelbarrow, half a dozen sweeping brushes and some new buckets to help with the daily running of the farm.

“We all enjoyed being on the farm and mother nature was very kind to us with the lovely warm weather we had. It was a great day indeed and I hope we made a difference for Ponderosa.”