Practical volunteering is delivered through our Challenge:ELBA programme and provides a great team building opportunity of hands-on activities out in the community for a group of employees.

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ach of ELBA’s business partners can get involved in a number of free team challenges as part of their support of ELBA and the community each year. A great team building opportunity, team challenges are usually half a day or a whole day of hands-on activities out in the community for a group of employees. Tasks can include: environmental work on city farms, gardens, school playgrounds, nature reserves and waterways, e.g. clearing vegetation, building fences and pathways, landscaping gardens as well as renovating community centres, hostels, offices and schools.

Through the programme we also deliver socially interactive events, such as ‘techy tea parties’ with the elderly or sports days with local primary schools. Interest in practical hands-on volunteering continues to grow. Every year ELBA works with hundreds of teams and thousands of volunteers on team days supporting communities across East London. Team challenges are fun, transformative, practical and interactive activities that offer great opportunities for team building. They also make a real difference to the facilities and physical environment of local communities.

Each year, ELBA team challenges support schools, city farms, youth groups, hospitals, hospices, nurseries, community gardens, estate halls, parks, public spaces, adventure playgrounds, registered social landlords, community centres and social enterprises across East London.

For many years, ELBA’s activities in the open spaces of East London have been helping in the response to climate change, building climate resilience and supporting biodiversity.

Even throughout the COVID pandemic our business volunteers were able to continue supporting the local community. Our current programmes will continue to include both face-to-face and remote volunteering opportunities.

How to get involved

If you are a community group in east London and would like to find out more about how ELBA team challenges can support your organisation, please contact challengeelba@elba-1.org.uk
or 020 7068 6960.

If your company is not a business partner of ELBA but would like more information about how you can spend the day volunteering in the community, please contact challengeelba-1.org.uk or 020 7068 6960.

Community centres & public spaces
Community centres & public spaces

Community centres and publc spaces are the second most popular venues for teams wanting a day's hands-on volunteering. Community centres play a significant role in the life of many east London neighbourhoods, hosting afterschool clubs, parent & toddler groups, over-50s clubs and more. Tasks range from painting halls to arranging community events.

Parks, adventure playgrounds & outdoor spaces
Parks, adventure playgrounds & outdoor spaces

Parks and outdoor spaces are the most popular destination for team building events in east London. ELBA sends volunteers to six adventure playgrounds, seven city farms and spaces that support local food growing, two out of the seven 'Magnificent London cemeteries', and five parks that have been awarded Green Flag status for the best green spaces in the country. Tasks include: transforming overgrown, litter strewn and underused areas into clean, beautiful areas, creating woodland walks, establishing new footpaths, building outdoor furniture such as benches, planting flowers.

Schools & children's centres
Schools & children's centres

Supporting children’s centres and primary schools is a popular team challenge opportunity. ELBA supports over 28 primary schools and nurseries in east London. Tasks include: transforming playgrounds, painting murals or classrooms, facilitating school trips and supporting events such as sports days and World Book Days.

Social volunteering & events
Social volunteering & events

Not all volunteers have to pick up a spade or paintbrush to spend the day volunteering in the community. Teams have also been involved in social volunteering activities, such as working with the elderly to reduce isolation and loneliness, hosting money skills workshops for primary school children, and supporting community festivals. Volunteers have also acted as 'digital buddies' to help people adjust to a changing world of social contact and access to devices.

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