South West Water's Employee Volunteering initiative enables staff to volunteer on one day per year to assist with projects linked in some respect to the the environment, water or youth.
From beach cleans and forestry work to gardening at the Children's Hospice South West, the initiative is designed to make a positive difference while encouraging staff to take a wider interest in the communities they serve.
Since 2011 South West Water has supported Keep Britain Tidy's BeachCare initiative. The removal of rubbish from the region's beaches clearly benefits local communities and makes beaches more attractive to tourists.
Beach cleaning also positively impacts on marine wildlife by helping to remove items that might contaminate the water or snare and kill certain species. Volunteers have helped clean beaches from Porthtowan to Bude on the north coast of the region and from Portwrinkle to Budleigh in the south.
Neil Hembrow, Beach Care Coordinator, estimates that SWW volunteers have so far cleared more than six tonnes of rubbish.
'Come rain or shine I have always been impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of South West Water beach clean teams. Sometimes we have had to go that extra mile when visiting remote beaches where the marine litter problems are at their worst.
Despite the arduous journey back from the beach with full bags, the groups' humour and teamwork are a great help when tackling the climbs and remote beach paths. Personally, its always an enjoyable and successful visit to the beach with South West Water staff.'
CHICKS is moorland retreat for disadvantaged children located at Brentor on Dartmoor. In 2013/14 South West Water volunteers, alongside colleagues from the Met Office, planted trees and lay spring bulbs in order to create a woodland area for use as a nature trail.
This is bringing educational and environmental benefits to the children at the retreat whilst also attracting and providing habitats for insects and other wildlife.
Additional tree planting and vegetation clearance has subsequently been carried out.