The Secretariat team

I work for the Board Secretariat team, based in the Manchester support centre.  We’re a small team of 12 and our role is administration based – amongst other things, we support the Group Board and Committees, make sure the Group follows rules and best practice, and look after compliance for our subsidiaries.

One thing that’s really good about our team is that it’s really community and charity minded. In the past year we’ve got involved with a local charity based in Stockport, called The ARC. It’s a specialist not-for-profit that offers an alternative curriculum, helping children and adults with disabilities to work on the land and with animals.

We took this charity under our wing after a unanimous team vote; we were all touched by the stories of the kids they helped. Since then our relationship with the ARC has grown and grown, and we’ve raised money for them through fundraising events like the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

We rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in

On the day we had a list of jobs that could be done in the wet or dry – you can never be too sure in Manchester! Thankfully, we had a dry day so we could give the duck area a much needed spruce up, and buy some bright paints to give it a beach theme.

The Before image

The first stage was getting all of the ducks out of their enclosures, which is easier said than done! Once the area was cleared, we pulled all of the duck houses out to give them a good clean and painted them up like beach huts. We also put together a petrol strimmer which was provided (in pieces!) by the ARC; removing weeds and trimming the overgrowth. We then cleared out the pond area and repainted the fences for the enclosure.

The ducks couldn’t wait to get back into their revamped ‘Duckingham Palace’ home, as we christened it, and the staff and kids at the ARC were really grateful. We really enjoyed it too.

After image

We’ve now decided to look at more ways we can support the ARC, including doing a skills audit and more volunteering in future.

You can find out more about the ARC on their website – they’re an amazing charity.

Cameron McLeod

Office Administrator, Secretariat

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact: volunteer@coop.co.uk