Feel Good Friday – Surrey Docks Farm

27th February 2023

Messagemaker Displays has implemented a new Quarterly Volunteering Programme for 2023, and to kick off, a small team from different departments had a mucky Friday out-of-office helping out at Surrey Docks Farm. We feel very strongly about corporate social responsibility and know the value and importance of giving back to the community.

Who are Surrey Docks Farm?

Surrey Docks Farm is a working city farm and charity that enables the whole community to learn about farming, food production, and the natural environment. They deliver a range of accredited training projects for adult students with learning disabilities and get involved with community projects. They are also particularly reliant on donations to help them stay open so volunteering is essential for them to keep going strong.

So what did we do?

We were welcomed by the lovely Gemma who gave us a tour of the farm where we learned all about the charity and the community projects that they run. There was also a young group of pupils from their Forest School on the day. The Forest School is a long-term program that teaches through play, exploration, and healthy risk-taking solving real-life problems, and building self-belief and resilience through hands-on experiences. More of their workshops can be found here

Surrey Docks Farm Blog - Team Photo

Our guide and supervisor for the day Gemma, pointed out the large rainwater tanks around the site which the farm uses to harvest rainwater. This water, collected from the building roofs, is used to flush the toilets for most of the year.

Little did we know, the site, a former wharf, has had at least seven different uses over the last 300 years – most of which have left something behind that we can see at the Farm today, from physical structures to artifacts found on the foreshore. You can read more about it here

Following the tour, we had our health and safety briefing when it was time for us all to muck in and muck out!

 Time to get to work

We worked hard in the morning on animal care duties: mucking out the goats, sweeping the goat’s yard (two minutes later it needed doing again!) grooming and mucking out the donkeys, sweeping the sheep’s yard, and taking the younger goats for a walk!

We all had time for a goat selfie or two!

The fun part was taking it in turn, to work on biochar processing to add to their compost production, by the end of the day some of us had great techniques.

Laura and a Curious Goat at Surrey Docks Farm Blog from Messagemaker
Grinding Biochar at Surrey Docks Farm Blog from Messagemaker
This selfie is the GOAT - Surrey Docks Farm Blog from Messagemaker

After an action-packed morning, in the afternoon we were hard at work again. This time digging, wheeling & spreading woodchips on the wildlife garden paths. This back-breaking task involved moving the wood chips from one end of the farm to the other to then lay it all out. Not only was this A great team-building exercise to finish off the day! We left the farm feeling so good on that Friday. #Feelgoodfriday!

It’s all about giving back

Surrey Docks Farm is an exceptional cause that educates and helps their local community whilst being sustainable at the same time. Volunteering not only comes with a touch of team-building and cute goats, but this day of hard work is vital for the farm to keep operating and keep doing the great work that they do.

The Messagemaker Displays Quarterly Volunteering Programme has been set up as part of our overall CSR business initiatives. Alongside offsetting carbon emissions, lowering our carbon footprint, and climbing a mountain every year for fundraising, volunteering will now mean we can directly support local communities and charities.

A quick break for goat cuddles at Surrey Docks Farm -Blog from Messagemaker Displays
One of the sheep at Surrey Docks Farm -Blog from Messagemaker Displays
Working up a sweat at Surrey Docks Farm -Blog from Messagemaker Displays