Staff at Mid Essex CCG have recently taken part in a volunteering day helping a local church at Sible Hedingham clear and tidy up their graveyard with the help of Community360 in Braintree.
Armed with tools, tea, coffee, biscuits & cakes, staff tidied and tendered to the grounds of the churchyard, transforming the area for relatives and friends to visit.
Community360 who have offices in Colchester and Braintree were approached in April this year by Daniel Doherty the Director of Clinical Transformation for the Mid Essex CCG asking for volunteering information and ideas for their staff as part of their newly launched ‘Time to Shine’ campaign.
Mid Essex CCG launched ‘Time to Shine’ in 2019, a staff challenge aiming to engage staff in values showing their ‘loyalty to livewell’. Staff have made pledges regarding community, active and mindful activities. As a result of this, staff have started their own CCG wide activities such as a weekly running club, weekly mindfulness, weekly knitting club, fortnightly dance classes and a monthly Tennis Tournament session.
Thomas Mann, Commissioning and Transformation Officer (CCG) said: ‘I have been a promoter of the CCG’s LiveWell ethos throughout the ‘Time to Shine’ campaign, so when the opportunity came up to get outside and support our local community in mid Essex it was something that really appealed to me.”
He added: ‘When you do the usual 9 till 5 routine sitting in front of a computer screen you have to think of ways to change the norm and what better way than to get ‘green fingered’ with a bit of grass trimming or weeding!’
Phil Rawlinson, Engagement Officer at Community360 said: “In my local area alone there is one vicar covering seven churches, so when we were approached by the CCG for ideas on how their staff could help with a specific project I contacted the vicar to see if she needed any help at her churches.”
“Unfortunately, the task of maintaining the graveyards is one that is fairly low on the list of priorities for the Diocese. So, with the offer of help came in the vicar was absolutely delighted!”
He added” “After several email exchanges between Community360 and Mid Essex CCG it was agreed that a team of volunteers would attend to the graveyards at Sible Hedingham Church and what a fantastic job they have done! Our sincere thanks to everyone who got involved.
Mid Essex CCG has pledged to create at least three large scale volunteering opportunities enlisting the help of Community360, Chelmsford CVS and Maldon CVS in providing volunteering activities for their staff.
Dan Doherty, Director of Clinical Transformation at NHS Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: ‘I am a big advocate of physical exercise and the benefits it brings us, so I was keen to be involved with this project. Helping at the churchyard allows us to support one of the communities we serve in a new way and get us up and moving at the same time.
At the CCG, we want everyone in mid Essex to ‘livewell’, so it’s only right we try to do the same. Our staff challenge, encouraging us to be active, mindful and help our communities, is a great way for us to show our commitment to that goal.”
Phil concluded: “If you are a business looking to get more involved with the local community, we would be delighted to help and signpost you to ways in which your staff could benefit from volunteering. Volunteering is fantastic for teambuilding, your mental wellbeing and will give you a feeling of real self-worth.”