Our CSR Mission
At EcoSend, we take a lot of pride in our CSR days.
These are blocked out in the team's calendar at the end of every month for us to dedicate one afternoon or morning to doing something 'for good'.
We find this cadence helps ensure we keep our mission & values front and centre.
After all, we all want to do good, but it's so easy for volunteering activities to take a back-seat behind the day to day priority tasks of running a business.
Our monthly CSR days not only help us check-in on our mission, but they're also a great opportunity for the team to get together. Which as a remote-first company, with members across Europe, is always a delightful occasion.
We've covered a bunch of different activities since we started our monthly CSR days.
Whether that's helping out at a local foodbank, running a litter-picking mission, or in this month's edition, picking up spades and wheelbarrows to get stuck in helping out the TCV volunteers at 'The Paddock' in Tottenham!
Praying for Sun
Our colleague Nicola originally booked the activity a few week's ago. When we still had the (naive) hope that the height of summer would fairly guarantee decent-ish weather.
How wrong we were!
As we got closer and closer to the date, we all eyed the weather graphs nervously, as the thunder and rain symbols became more and more dramatic…
But on the eve of the scheduled date, having already rescheduled from the original day to allow for (the since cancelled) latest round of Tube strikes, we made a decision to commit to attending; no matter the weather!
And so, having prayed to the rain gods for their favour, we mustered our courage (as well as any winter rain jackets we could find…) and set off to Tottenham to the TCV's 'Paddock' site.
The Paddock is a wonderful area of wetland just around the corner from Tottenham Hale station.
Nestled in-between rows of high-rise luxury apartments, this area provides a vital refuge for local wildlife and fauna.
TCV have been tasked by Haringey Council to manage the area and instigate a series of vital projects aimed at regenerating the space and making it more accessible & enjoyable to the local community.
We arrived bright-eyed and eager on Wednesday morning at The Paddock's entrance, and were greeted by the TCV staff hosts, Anna & Izzy, as well as a friendly group of local volunteers.
The Day Begins
From the get go, we felt warmly welcomed into the group, but it was also clear this would be no time for lazy-ing about enjoying the view!
After an intro talk and demonstrations from the staff, we were quickly set off with our first task; shovelling wood mulch and transporting it to help regenerate a new forest path.
Building our 'Forest Super-Highway'
In-between our grunting and sweating (this was unusually heavy-labour for a team whose typical Wednesday exercise involves pressing buttons on a keyboard…), we learned some fascinating facts about The Paddock's flora & fauna.
Turns out that the mycelia (scientific word for mushroom roots), which grow within the wood-mulch are vital for creating woodland paths. These mycelia act as a 'super-highway', transporting messages across the nearby trees' root systems. “A World Wood Web”, as Izzy put it.
For someone whose knowledge of mushrooms extends to the ones I eat at Tescos, it was fascinating to hear about the symbiotic relationship between fungi and other flora. I had no idea mushrooms were so smart!
We heaved and grunted for a good hour, shovelling and transporting the mulch from its pile to the wood-path. At which point we were grateful to hear the announcement of a break. With James in particular, making a dash for the closest biscuit tin…
When it rains, it pours
We'd been lucky with the weather to this point, but our luck soon began to change…
For the next hour of our labours, we found ourselves constantly switching between T-shirts in the blazing sun one minute, followed by winter jackets in a rainstorm the next. British Summer, I suppose!
Somehow, we managed to survive the next hour without accidentally spading or impaling each other in the foot with our various gardening weaponry.
Having proven ourselves worthy, we were granted access to the next level in the TCV arsenal; saws, 'loppers', and rakes!
These were vital for our next tasks; sawing through dead trees to make branch-boundaries for our new wood paths.
We also had to ensure that no branches were left hanging over the path at head-height, less an unfortunate local bump into one…
Using JT's 6 foot stature as our measurement post, we lopped off the offending branches and cleared the way for the local's to enjoy their new route, and for the flora's new highway to open to traffic!
With the mycelia highway complete, we took a welcome break for lunch and chance to chat more with the other volunteers and staff.
Lunch and more Saw-ing
Despite the rain-blasts, we committed to continue after lunch, and cracked on with clearing the area around the main-path; removing weeds and tidying up the side of the path.
We were also given a crash-course in the local wildlife, such as the 'Jersey Tiger Moth' as well as the local history of The Paddock.
The TCV run regular fauna and flora 'surveys', which are free for anyone to attend and learn more about the local wildlife. If you'd be interested in attending any of these events, the link to their Eventbrite is here.
With 3pm looming and the rain-clouds getting heavier, we rounded off the activities and said our goodbyes to the TCV staff and volunteers. We were tired, wet… and absolutely beaming from ear to ear!
It had been a wonderful way to spent the morning, and we all felt rejuvenated for a bit of time in nature and away from our computer screens!
Check out our next CSR days!
We will definitely be back to visit TCV for more CSR days. The staff and volunteers couldn't have been more welcoming, and we were delighted to do our little bit to help this wildlife sanctuary and bring it to life for the local community.
And, if you're interested in all things digital Sustainability, why not check out The EcoSend Podcast. Each week we interview Marketers, Founders, and leaders who are championing bringing Sustainability into the commercial and non-profit sectors.
Thanks for reading!