The sky is the limit!
At Simplyhealth, we're committed to helping our communities. We're proud to offer our employees the opportunity to spend three days a year volunteering for good causes if they wish to. Jill Rawle, from the Customer and Brand team shares her experience of a recent team day at The Hawk Conservancy Trust:
'Are you now a vultures convert?' - Definitely not a question you hear every day but exactly what happened at our away day at The Hawk Conservancy Trust, a charity in Hampshire which specialises in the conservation of birds of prey.
We're a newly formed team, so it was a great opportunity for us to all get together and show our commitment to delivering our purpose through volunteering combined with learning some new skills. The theme of the day was driven by our core values: Think, Act and Learn:
On arrival, we were met by Andy Hinton, who explained the history of what was once a small working farm with a passion to protect local wildlife, who would soon become the site of the globally recognised Hawk Conservancy Trust that it is today, all with the same family feel. From nest boxes to red kites, it was fascinating to hear about the scale of the work they do. What surprised us all, however, was the challenges birds of prey face. It was sad to hear how vultures often fall victim to poachers through poisoning. The International Vulture Programme in Africa and south Asia aims to tackle the issue, and by the end of the day most of us, had found soft spots for them.
Volunteering gives us a great opportunity to give something back to our community. They say that many hands make light work and that was definitely the case for us on the day. Not only did we get a healthy dose of fresh air (and a few nettle stings along the way!) but by helping to tidy the grounds, including the outside theatre where they host some of the bird displays it meant that we could do our bit to help the charity maintain the beautiful grounds that welcome thousands of visitors every year.
The day was split into two halves - volunteering and photography. As a team, we use photography across a multitude of mediums, ranging from our internal magazine to social media and PR. With the help of two professional photographers, Adrian Travis and Ben Evans, we learnt some top tips during a photography skills sessions on how to make the most of the lighting you have, framing and even getting the best out of your models. Luckily for us, Drifter the saker falcon made that very easy!
Overall, it was a really great day - the sky's the limit for the team!