Nestlé York employees give boost to community garden with York Cares

May 10, 2016
Group of volunteers

Nestlé UK, one of York’s biggest employers, has joined employee-volunteering charity York Cares as part of its commitment to make a difference to the local community.

A team from Nestlé in York has already completed its first challenge, with 19 volunteers transforming Greenfields School and Community Gardens on Haxby Road. In just one day the team weeded beds and cleared brambles, re-layed bark chipping, and helped to build a compost area.

Phil Bruce, from Nestlé UK, which employs around 1800 people in the city said: “We are delighted to offer our employees the opportunity to come down to this local community garden to help make a difference to those who use it, including local school children, parents and residents. This is a great place to come to spend time enjoying the fresh air meeting people and also for the children to come to learn about wildlife and the environment.

“We really hope that we have been able to make a difference today in helping out with the planting and preparation for the summer months ahead. We are looking forward to joining forces with York Cares again in the not too distant future to spread our employee volunteering further around the City of York.” York Cares first supported Greenfields School and Community Gardens in 2012 when 200 employee-volunteers transformed the site by building a central shelter, digging out plots and creating raised beds for residents and children from Haxby Road Primary School to use. Since then over 350 volunteers from 24 local companies have revisited Greenfields to provide ongoing support with maintenance and developing new areas for local residents to garden. Louise Cantlay, Chair of Greenfields School and Community Gardens said: “As a project that is solely run by volunteers it makes a huge difference when a team of employee volunteers come and helps on site. It enhances what our regular volunteers do and means that we get a big chunk of manpower to tackle tasks that may otherwise not get done." York Cares is aiming to encourage 10 companies to join the organisation during its 10th anniversary year. It started the year with 40 business members and has recently engaged First Bus, John Lewis and now Nestlé. Holly Hennell, Acting Manager at York Cares said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that major employers like Nestlé recognise the value in enabling their staff to volunteer their time and skills during working hours to support community projects in the city. York Cares volunteers have made a huge difference in the past 10 years and we are looking forward to bringing businesses and the community together for the next 10 years and beyond.” For more information, visit