Every year hundreds of Interserve employees request up to two days of leave to help with a local community project or charity through its ‘Give a Day of Your Time’ scheme. This is a core element of the company’s SustainAbilities goals, which aims to see at least 15% of employees donating time to benefit the communities where we work by 2016. This year was no exception, with almost 60 members of staff from Interserve Learning & Employment dedicating their time to transforming a local Rotherham pub into an ‘Apothecary for Magical Beings’.

The Yorkshire-based children’s charity Grimm & Co has worked from temporary premises since 2009, until recently securing a permanent home in the town centre of Rotherham. Their new building, an ex-pub in the heart of the town, is currently being transformed into an ‘Apothecary for Magical Beings’ which plans to sell products such as Fairy Dust, Wands, Heartburn for Dragons, Unicorn Horn Polish and more. Once open, shop sales will sustain and support the charity whilst, most importantly, providing a secret entrance to an exciting writing centre used to encourage and support young people, ensuring that all children in Yorkshire can unleash their imaginations and build confidence and self-respect.

Interserve’s mission for two days in June was to help turn the ex-pub’s function room into the inspirational writing room for 7 to 18 year olds. Volunteers gladly took part and revamped furniture, upcycled items like bean bags and lamps to create a stimulating environment  and carried out hours of filming to produce a motivational video to increase awareness of the charity and support them with their cause.

Having attended the first day of the project, Chris Peel, Managing Director UK Skills & Employment said: “Grimm & Co are a fantastic charity with an innovative delivery model to improve literacy amongst young people across Yorkshire.”

Speaking of Interserve’s contribution, Deborah Bullivant, Director with Grimm & Co added: “We are a small, local charity, working to champion the writer in our children and young people because writing is in everything we do.  We are truly grateful to Interserve for giving us two days of over 50 of their employees’ time recently.  The excellent way they planned, coordinated and supported the charity meant that a great deal of beautiful furniture and furnishings were produced.  Their hard work and total dedication to our cause means that our new story centre will be more exciting, giving the children a wonderful centre to be proud of.  The Interserve Learning & Employment teams were exceptional, putting their heart into our charity.”

The Apothecary for Magical Beings is still a work in progress, but take a look at some fairy-tale like transformations the elves of Interserve helped to make happen over their two days…

If you are inspired by the project and want to know more or express a desire to help, like Grimm & Co on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for further information.