Sunday, July 21, 2024

Science company leaders get stuck in helping YMCA Derbyshire residents enjoy the outdoor life

Residents of the YMCA Derbyshire charity have been supported by senior business leaders from all around the world who stepped in with paintbrushes and hammers for a morning’s work.

Procurement directors from science company Lubrizol who are based in the USA, China, South Africa, France and the UK were at the YMCA’s base in Derby where they got stuck in to help with planting, painting and making bird boxes – as well as constructing a geodesic dome.

The dome is a model of a larger construction that the YMCA hopes to be able to install in a three-acre garden that it leases to benefit residents who use it to grow vegetables and enjoy peace and quiet in the open air.

Lubrizol contributed 17 senior leaders based all around the world who volunteered at the YMCA as part of their “Creating Community Chemistry” drive to give back to local communities.

The Lubrizol leaders were in the UK at a meeting at the company’s UK Technical Centre in Hazelwood, near Duffield. They stepped away from the board room for a morning to help out at the YMCA where they were put to use with paintbrushes and hammers.

The chemistry company has plants all over the world and employs nearly 9,000 people.

JT Jones, Lubrizol’s senior vice president of procurement and high growth regions – who is based in the USA – was one of those working hard at Derby’s YMCA to help create freshly painted and planted pots for the charity’s garden, as well as bird boxes and the geodesic dome.

He said volunteering in the local community was important to everyone at Lubrizol and employees had been involved in many initiatives around the world from helping out at a US foodbank to picking vegetables in China.

He said: “All of us are really lucky and it’s always important to give back to the community – lots of people are not as lucky as we are.”

The team from Lubrizol also included Nadina Singh, the company’s global procurement logistics director who is based in South Africa, who said she was enjoying spending her morning painting. She was working alongside China-based Stephanie Shen, Lubrizol’s procurement director for Asia Pacific, and senior director Deanna Murlin.

Deanna said: “Perhaps a reason why a lot of us enjoy working at Lubrizol is that it’s important that we are employed somewhere where we can give back to the community and that we are given that opportunity to do that. It’s very nice to do this.”

Planters painted by Lubrizol volunteers were made by YMCA residents for use in the charity’s garden, through its Men in Sheds project. Wood for the geodesic dome was donated by Derby Timber Supplies.

Scott Gillespie, from the YMCA, said: “At the YMCA we are trying to encourage as many local communities as possible to help support the work we are doing to support our residents. Our Men in Sheds project gives our residents confidence, and future skills.

“The support from Lubrizol is incredible. It’s amazing just how well the Lubrizol team works together and seem buzzing from it. It’s team-building for them and invaluable for us. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”

YMCA Derbyshire provides accommodation to people at risk of homelessness. Through its merger with the Padley Group, it provides a community hub for those experiencing poverty and social isolation, where people can access a range of support including basic provisions such as clothing and food, as well as advice on debt, budgeting, mental health, addiction, registering with a GP and legal advice.

The charity is currently providing accommodation for more than 200 people in Derby who might otherwise not have a home.

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