After the success of our last company away day, I was given the job of organising this one too (It’s not actually a job, I enjoy organising these things and with my sights set on wine tasting for the next one it’s a job that definitely has its perks!). I wanted to make sure we did something a bit different this time, the last away day was pretty (read extremely) competitive and while a lot of fun I thought we could do with something a bit more relaxing. So I came up with a day of back-breaking, exhausting labour on a very hot and sunny day!
Having previously worked for a charity I know how much they rely on volunteers so we offered our services on this occasion to Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare based in Ringmer, East Sussex. Raystede had, on the weekend before our arrival, celebrated their summer fair and in previous years to clear away and put the centre back together usually takes their team of 6 employed grounds staff around 4 days. I am very proud to say Tillo took up the challenge and worked like trojans to complete the work in half a day and then keep going to move on to more work around the centre. It was hard work, but the centre staff were fantastic and it was great knowing we had made a difference.
After we had completed our jobs we were given a behind the scenes tour of the centre and I don’t think I'm the only one who had a tear in their eyes when you hear some of the animal's stories. But one thing that was all too clear was how lucky the animals were to have Raystede. The care and love given to these animals shines through in everyone there and in the environment that they work hard to provide them with. The site is amazing and with that comes costs, Raystede costs over £6000 a day to run and they rely solely on donations to fund this, they also have an Amazon wishlist and so we gave all staff £25 to buy something for the centre - if you want to have a look you can find it here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/4X1FCQP5NDIE/ref=cm_go_nav_hz
The team at Raystede all made sure we knew how grateful they were for the work we did but in all honesty, we can safely say it was a pleasure. It was fantastic to spend the day as a team out of the office, working hard in the sunshine and having fun while we did it, meeting the animals and the fantastic people who work at Raystede, who are clearly so passionate about the centre.
We headed for a well-deserved drink after and found a pub garden with more animals which was the perfect end to the day. As we grow it’s tough trying to find activities and sometimes just space in diaries that suit everyone but this away day proves just why we will keep holding them as the benefit far outweighs any diary conflict!