• SGN Press release

    SGN volunteers Rock at West Sussex community farm


    29 May 2018 


    SGN colleagues take a brief break from farm work for a team photograph


    Over 50 volunteers from our HR team spent a day lending a hand at Rock Farm, a therapeutic horticultural community farm in West Sussex.  

    More than 50 HR colleagues – our biggest ever team of volunteers – from across Scotland and the south of England took part in the one-day project. The team offered their support as part of our Community Action Programme (CAP) in which every employee is given one day a year on company time to offer help in their community.

    Rock Farm offers horticultural therapy and community gardening for various voluntary groups and vulnerable people at its six-acre site near Steyning. Working alongside the farm’s regular helpers, our team participated in a range of activities necessary for the upkeep of the farm. These activities included building raised beds in the polytunnel, digging out an area for a pond to be built, wheelbarrowing different supplies to better locations, weeding, cutting the vegetables and building fences around the patches. 

    It was Employee Experience Officer Kirstin Gemmell’s first time organising a CAP day. She said: “Organising an event of this size was challenging, but hugely enjoyable and rewarding. It was lovely to see the difference made by the work we had done and the determination of the team to help as best they could.”



    Georgia, Maria, Clare and Neha get stuck in

    Caroline Williams, Head of Talent and Development, was keen to take part in the project as a way of getting to know the team even better. She said the CAP project was “a great way to do team building, working on something much bigger than the team itself. Volunteering at Rock Farm is a great idea and some of our team intend to visit again in their own time". 

    Rock Farm’s Project Development Manager Ben Szobody has thanked the team for their hard work and shortening the farm’s job list substantially. Ben said: “Rock Farm is a six-acre site, with a lot of room to accommodate a lot of people. Literally anyone can volunteer. SGN became part of the community for a day, while reshaping the site in ways that will have long-term impacts on the people we serve and the cutting-edge growing techniques we’re developing.”