National Trust volunteers leap to help the community

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STAFF at the National Trust regional headquarters in Bury St Edmunds took full advantage of the leap year’s extra day yesterday by volunteering in the community.

A group of 12 staff took to the streets around West Suffolk Hospital on a big litter pick in the morning, moving to the Abbey Gardens to clean and repaint an aging fence in the afternoon near Eastgate Street.

It was all part of the National Trust’s Local Leap Project where staff members and volunteers help out in their local communities.

Keith Turner, the head of conservation for the region who took part in the project, said: “It was great - we achieved a hell of a lot.

“In the morning we went litter picking around West Suffolk Hospital.

“You don’t think there will be much litter around a hospital but we must have collected 20 bags of rubbish there.

“We then moved to Eastgate Street to help rub down and repaint some railings.

“It was a very enjoyable day, there were a lot of staff that you wouldn’t normally work beside so it was good team building too.

“What was important was to have fun and to make a difference.”

Sarah Withers, business support co-ordinator at the National Trust, said: “It is a project across the whole of the National Trust where we asked our staff to take part going into the community and helping out.

“This could be helping clean at a school or help with the repair of a church - the aim was to send our services into the community to give something back.

“A lot of really good work was done.”