County council IT staff volunteer at Richmond charity

Computer staff rolled up their sleeves and swapped their laptops for spades and shovels to give a day’s hard graft for charity.

Twelve members of North Yorkshire County Council’s Technology and Change Department proved equal to the task as they transformed a garden run by charity Just- the-Job.

The not-for-profit social enterprise for adults with disabilities is based on Gallowfields Trading Estate, Richmond.

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NYCC IT manager Gavin Booth said : “When we discovered that 2017 is the Year of the Volunteer, one of our team, asset support analyst Mandy Swainston, whose daughter, Lisa, is a member of Just-the-Job, came up with the idea – and we all agreed.

“The County Council gave their approval, giving us an extra day off. It was very hard work but fun. We cleared part of an orchard and a large vegetable plot.

“It was unfamiliar territory for us but we managed scything, mowing, strimming, raking, digging and forking – and hopefully made a difference for Just –the-Job.”

He said that at least two more teams from his department were keen to help the charity.

Mrs Swainston said that in addition to the gardening, the team had created natural habitats for animals such as hedgehogs and voles.

“We loved it and want to come back,” she added.

Just-the-Job manager Steve Biggs added: “We can’t thank them enough. They were brilliant and made such a difference. We welcome volunteers like this, with open arms!”