Arco colleagues spring into action to ensure Pickering Park is ready for visitors

Colleagues from Hull-based safety company, Arco, have spent a day volunteering in the community to make sure Pickering Park is ready for the spring.

Photo: Sean Spencer / Hull News & Pictures Ltd

A team of 11 helped tidy up and undertake general maintenance and gardening work to the park’s sensory garden.

The day was organised by the Hull & East Yorkshire Smile (HEY) Foundation and run by The Friends of Pickering Park, a community organisation that works with local people to improve the park for the whole community.

As a fifth-generation family business, Arco is committed to being a responsible company and encourages its colleagues to share their experience, skills and knowledge in the community by providing two days of paid leave each year to support volunteering opportunities.

Anna Harvatt, Community Engagement Manager at Arco, said: “All of our colleagues are given two days each year to volunteer. They really enjoy giving back to their local communities and charitable organisations and their time and skills make a huge difference.

“The past two years have seen such opportunities limited, due to the pandemic, so it is great that we can now start to get back out and about.

“I’d like to thank our team of volunteers for all of their hard work and our partners at HEY Smile Foundation and Friends of Pickering Park for organising the day.

“The sensory garden looks fantastic and is ready for the spring and summer and to be enjoyed by visitors once again.”

Tessa Wray, Smile’s Business Developer, said: “Following the pandemic, it’s great to see corporate teams once again given the opportunity to down tools in the office and put their time and skills to good use in the community. The last couple of years have been challenging for charitable organisations for reasons such as: lack of fundraising, disruption to service delivery and access to volunteers.

“I’m certainly seeing an increased appetite for volunteering by businesses, who are keen to see their teams coming back together following long periods of home working and at the same time giving back to communities where employees live and work.”

Carole Parker, Trustee of Friends of Pickering Park, said: “The sensory garden was created in 2012 on a disused bowling green.

“Due to Covid-19, we haven’t been able to tend the garden and, consequently, the garden has overgrown and become unmanageable. But, thanks to the HEY Smile Foundation and the commitment of Arco staff, we now have a team of enthusiastic volunteers from the business helping us in the sensory garden.”  

Pickering Park was founded by philanthropist Christopher Pickering and officially opened in 1911. It is a popular green space in the city with an aviary, fishing lake, playgrounds, outdoor gym and a paddling pool, which is open during the summer.