NEARLY 100 kind-hearted colleagues in Hampshire embraced the Friday Feeling by swapping their working day for a series of voluntary projects transforming their communities.

Workers from across the county upped tools to put in hard graft to support schools, charities and community groups in their area.

The volunteers were among 15,000 nationwide celebrating this year’s Give and Gain Day.

The annual event, run by Business in the Community (BITC), promotes the importance of volunteering by encouraging employees to dedicate their working day to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Colleagues at Matchtech in Whiteley delighted pupils and teachers at St Mark’s Primary School in Shirley, by developing a sensory garden, weeding allotments and sprucing up a model lion outside the school.

Other teammates planted bamboo and cleaned up a reflection bench in at the neighbouring Polygon School.

Staff from Enterprise Rent a Car and Inchcape Fleet Solutions dug in to clear land at the former Solent Nursery in Fareham, building polytunnels for use by the Second Chance Charity supporting unemployed 18-24-year-olds.

Daily Echo:

Employees from MatchTech, Connectus and Alderwood planting sensory plants to create quiet at Polygon School, Southampton.

Teams at Waitrose in Weeke invited charities and community groups to a community conversation encouraging better networking between organisations.

Supermarket workers from the Co-op visited Portchester Community School to launch a weekly pupil mentoring class.

Kingfisher IT Services colleagues also helped out at the Ropewalk Community Garden in Derby Road.

Meanwhile staff at Morgan Sindall applied their construction knowhow to transform derelict land at Aldermoore Community Farm in Coxford, building a pond, polytunnels, a willow fence and clearing overgrowth.

Farm Manager Richard Pitt praised the 20 strong-team saying: “It’s fantastic to see our project advance in one day.

“Everyone has been so enthusiastic and creative.”

Daily Echo:

Staff from Matchtech volunteering for Give and Gain Day at the Polygon School, Southampton.

Morgan Sindall PA office manager Linda Gilhoy said: “It’s been fantastic for the team to be able to support the local community and achieve all of the tasks that were set.”

BITC communications manager Mike Toy thanked everyone involved and said: “Volunteers put a lot of work into making it a success and there will be a lot of smiling faces going home tonight knowing they have achieved something special.”