It’s not often that we have the chance to spend a day away from the office and give back to charity, but when given the chance to complete some charitable volunteering work for The Aspinall Foundation at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, the calfordseaden team jumped at the chance.
160 members of staff arrived at the park last Friday, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to get stuck in with some charity work. The park is huge with over 600 acres for the animals to explore. Our staff were excited to get out in the open air and get to work, but after a beautiful week of blue skies and sunshine, the weather took an unexpected turn and we were treated to lots of heavy rain! In spite of this, our brilliant staff donned their best wet weather gear and braved the rain as they knew they had a job to do.
Each member of staff had been allocated a specific task to complete, ranging from painting the giraffe house, making toys for the animals, through to planting trees and shrubs in the animal enclosures. The range of activities reflects the huge amount of work that has to be done throughout the year at Port Lympne to ensure the animals live in a safe and fulfilling environment.
Although the Aspinall Foundation and Port Lympne has keen volunteers who work for them, we were the largest group that had ever volunteering for them. As our group was so big, we were able to complete a huge amount of work that, without our dedicated staff, would have taken the keepers and volunteers weeks to complete.
It wasn’t all hard work either. Whilst staff were toiling away they were able to see giraffes, wildebeest and gazelles, gorillas, spectacle bears and tigers and some even got to feed them once their tasks were complete. Tigers don’t seem so scary when they’re fixated on the huge chunk of meat you’re holding for them!
After everyone had finished their tasks staff were treated to a safari ride through the African and Asian experiences, and as the rain had finally stopped staff got to see lots of animals in their freshly maintained enclosures.
We would like to say a big thank you to the Aspinall Foundation and Port Lympne for allowing us to take over the park and do some charity work and another huge thank you to all the calfordseaden staff that came out in the pouring rain and helped to improve the animal’s habitats.