As part of Shoreham Port’s commitment to stakeholder engagement, all members of staff are encouraged to take one day, per year, away from work to volunteer for a charity of their choice. This is a great chance for staff to give something back to the community they live or work in.
This month, Tony Parker, Director of Engineering, chose to volunteer at Lewes Bonfire with the Commercial Square Bonfire Society. Helping to organise the largest celebration of Guy Fawkes Night in the UK is no small task, as Tony’s role encompasses a variety of responsibilities including arranging the midnight prayers, organising and marshalling the band during the procession, and collecting the pallets for the bonfire, as well as using his professional expertise to build the bonfire alongside 20 volunteers over five days.
An estimated 30,000 people attended the annual Lewes celebration, with huge crowds gathering to watch the enormous bonfire built by Tony and fellow Commercial Square Bonfire Society volunteers at the Landport Recreation Ground. Shoreham Port also contributed to the collection of pallets used in the construction of the bonfire.
Tony commented “It was fantastic to volunteer for the Lewes Bonfire celebrations again this year for my charity day. There is a huge amount of work that goes into preparations - with volunteer groups working on various aspects of the event including fireworks and fencing to name a few. It is always a rewarding experience volunteering at Lewes Bonfire which really brings the local community together.’’
Port staff often give their support to local groups and charities for presentations and one-off events as well. Emily Kenneally, Communications Manager recently acted as a ‘dragon’ on Concordia Charity’s ‘Dragon’s Den’. Each group of young volunteers created a social action project for a charity of their choice to help enhance their local community, then pitched their ideas to a team of ‘dragons’ helping them to develop their confidence, self-awareness and team skills.
Emily commented ‘’Concordia Charity is a great organisation that encourages young people to become more actively involved their local community. It was brilliant to see how enthusiastic the young volunteers were when pitching their ideas - including ways to support local homeless food banks and a dog walking event. Very well done to everyone who took part!’’
Further work with the local community is planned over the next few weeks, including supporting another ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event at the University of Brighton and providing marketing support to a local mental health charity, As You Are. Further updates will be released in due course via our social media streams about our latest work in the community.