JLL Global Communities Week

Written by Shifa Uddin, Challenge: ELBA Project Manager

This year JLL launched their first Global Communities Week aiming to make a big impact where they work and live. From the 7th – 10th June, employees across the globe have donated their time and skills to local communities. Here in east London, 42 volunteers took part in a range of environmental themed virtual and practical Team Challenges, making JLL the first ELBA partner to return to face to face volunteering!

In Tower Hamlets, Stepney City Farm were excited to welcome their first group of volunteers in over a year! The volunteers kicked off their day with a tour of the farm and learnt about how they provide local people with the opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables, take part in arts and craft and offer an extensive education programme. The volunteers demolished old allotments making room for new ones for local residents and community groups. One volunteer said “It was great to get to hear about the history of the farm and what a huge role it has played in the local community since the 1970s. It was a really fun and rewarding day, and we loved meeting all of the animals!” The volunteers then went onto tidying and clearing rubbish and debris from the surrounding areas that had accumulated over the last year. The volunteers enjoyed the day as they could see the immediate impact of their volunteering time.

Our second team took part in a virtual session on how to make Ecobricks – a great initiative to recycle and reuse disposable plastic, one of the most pressing environmental issues. Volunteers learned about plastic pollution and how the pandemic and lockdown have exacerbated the issue in London with more plastic entering the waterways. The session also had an interactive segment where volunteers looked at what types of plastic can be recycled at home and concluded with learning how to make their own Ecobricks. These will be sent to ELBA and used within future community projects. This is the beginning of the volunteers’ Ecobrick journey and we can’t wait to see it come together. One volunteer said, “I really enjoyed all the info… Look forward to making my first Ecobrick”.

Their final volunteering activity was a virtual session making puzzles for the Forget Me Not Project. They support people with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory disorders. The volunteers created environmental themed hand puzzles to be included in care packages sent to the members. They had a lot of fun creating questions for environmental themed topics ranging from seasons, nature, animals, insects, vegetables and more. The puzzles are a great way for members to keep their minds stimulated and give a sense of achievement when they complete them. This was also a relaxing and enjoyable activity for the volunteers, as they tested out the puzzles and it gave a distraction from their busy workload.

“Very informative about the purpose of the puzzle making and how they would benefit the recipients. An interactive session and the instructions were clear and simple.”

These were just a few of the volunteering activities that took place during the Global Communities Week with Challenge:ELBA, with other events taking place with other ELBA teams and around the globe! The Challenge:ELBA team has a long track record of supporting a range of causes so it was great to work with JLL and deliver a number of activities for volunteers to tackle social and environmental issues.

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