Stonebridge is a popular community facility for local families and children to visit and learn about farm life. As well as plenty of animals to see and outdoor space for playing, it offers practical courses on bee keeping and gardening; placements for students studying animal-related courses; and supporting people with special needs. It also has an education building with a purpose-built classroom.
The farm was set up in 1980 and over time, much of the foliage has become overgrown, while outdoor and indoor facilities and décor are looking tired and time-worn; Willmott Dixon’s trainees changed all that.
They used their construction skills to carry out extensive work to improve various parts of the popular farm, including painting external walls to match the Farm’s logo, sanding and repainting doors and window frames, repainting play equipment to remove graffiti, painting boundary fences, repairing animal enclosures, weeding and smartening up the car parking area and laying a new gravel path.
The ‘trainees in the community’ weekend is an annual event that sees all Willmott Dixon management trainees spend a weekend together with directors using their specialist skills to help a local cause, and this year the cause was Stonebridge City Farm.
Rick Willmott, Group chief executive at Willmott Dixon said: “When the economic environment is undoubtedly tough, it’s times like this that the commitment of companies like Willmott Dixon is most important. It’s essential we play our part in using our skills to support local projects that benefit communities. We were delighted to do just that at Stonebridge City Farm and look forward to staying in touch with them over the coming months and years.”
Marie Rogers from Stonebridge City Farm said; “We have been delighted with the work the team did; they have really brought new life into the City Farm, giving it a much needed make-over. A huge thank you to Willmott Dixon on behalf of everyone at the farm and the families who visit us – they are welcome to come back any time!”
Willmott Dixon Information Systems management trainee, James Ibbotson said; “It was fantastic having so many of my colleagues involved, I think we were able to make a real difference that will have a benefit for years to come. The weather was great and although it was hard work, it was absolutely worth all the effort and there was great camaraderie among us.”
Over the past year, Willmott Dixon staff have volunteered over 10,000 hours on similar projects across the country as part of their own localism agenda.