As told by Ally Tibbles, Recruitment Administrator, Purple Agency (Adare International Group):
Purple Agency takes our corporate social responsibility seriously and provides all employees with the chance to give back to our local community. Living out our values, we’re given the opportunity to take advantage of two days each per year where we can use time within our normal working week to support a local project or charity. Purple has a charity theme each year where we volunteer and raise money for charities/communities that fit within the chosen sector – this year is health – and find out where help is most needed. And this is how I came to be at Odiham Cottage Hospital on a cold, February morning, awaiting instructions on what I was to do for the day. This is my story on giving back…with time and paint.
Pulling up to the car park at Odiham Cottage Hospital, I felt nervous. It was a Monday, the weather was grey and miserable and I worried that I didn’t know enough for what I’d put my hand up for. Opening the door and following the directions to the right room, relief was instant as I saw my colleagues and, six of us in total, we all quietly confessed we were no experts…thankfully, for my own sense of self.
A lady stood up and introduced herself as Bev, the person from the hospital who would be guiding what we’d be doing today – she explained to us that Odiham Cottage Hospital is a community-owned hospital that provides a range of services for local residents, including NHS community nursing, counselling, social day care and palliative care. The room we were currently standing in was part of the Rosefield Day Centre – a safe and welcoming environment for elderly residents who wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, who can receive care and support at the Centre and freedom of choice over how they spend their time.
Bev explained that the room we were in was an activity room for local residents with dementia – games and crafts were held here to provide some fun and a way to connect with others. The room had a strong ‘hospital’ feel and the thinking was that it would be beneficial to steer it away from the sterile look and brighten it up. It was then I noticed all the paint tins and brushes tucked to the side of the room. Luckily, we had an experienced home decorator with us and he quickly took charge and divided us into teams where we thought our talents would lie.
We were soon into the swing of things and had a tight production line sorted – the taping was all done, walls primed and it was on to the painting. The team worked together like we’d been doing this for years and one of my personal highlights from the day was interacting and working alongside people that I don’t necessarily speak to in my ordinary working life. It felt like a real bond had developed between the six of us.
All too soon, our task was complete and looking around at everything we’d achieved that day, I felt an overwhelming sense of achievement and was proud of our small team. It was only one day out of our lives but we had made a difference, however small. The hospital were so pleased with our work that we’ve since been invited back to meet the residents who use the activity room – I’m excited to see it in full use and get to know the people who spend their time there.
I came away from the giving back day really inspired and felt like the day was a total success. I only wish I could do it more frequently.
With thanks to Odiham Cottage Hospital and the Rosefield Day Centre for allowing Purple Agency access and providing tea, biscuits and all paint supplies.
Purple Agency’s giving back scheme operates with local charities and communities who require assistance and support. The aim is to make a difference to the local area that enables us to carry out our work and maintain health and happiness for all. To find out more, or to join our team, please visit our website: purple.agency or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video: Purple Agency Giving Back, February 2020 - Odiham Cottage Hospital