Pictured: Craig Tomlinson, Jamie Johnson, Victoria Mawdsley, Gareth Stead-Clark and Steohen Langdon

Staff and management at The Mall Blackburn donated more than 100 hours to local causes to celebrate national Volunteers’ Week from the 1st to the 7th June.

From picking up litter on the streets of Blackburn to helping Blackburn Youth Zone with promotional work and mucking in at Only Foals and Horses to assisting with craft sessions at East Lancashire Hospice, the week was hailed a resounding success.

First up, General Manager Loraine Jones was joined by Marketing Assistant Vickie Mawdsley and Soft Services Manager Ronnie O’Keeffe, along with his team, on a litter-picking mission around Blackburn.

Victoria said: “We live in such a lovely town with stunning countryside right on our doorstep, so it was really disappointing to see the amount of litter that has been left.

“We went from Railway Road down to, and along, the canal and collected more than 40 bags of rubbish. I would urge everyone to think before they drop litter, it might only be one tissue, or an empty can of pop, but it all adds up.”

Ask Me Point Assistant, Carley McKenna spent time helping Blackburn Youth Zone. She learned all about how they raise funds and even helped them produce a promotional poster and events page.

Phil Bickerstaff, who is Technical Manager and Lisa Clough who is Administrator rolled up their sleeves and mucked in at the Only Foals and Horses Sanctuary in Oswaldtwistle by shifting tonnes of rubble before taking time out to groom the ponies and get involved in therapy sessions for vulnerable people.

Lisa commented: “It was amazing to spend time with the horses and see first hand the benefits of people interacting with the animals.

“It is such a wonderful place and we were warmly welcomed by all the staff and volunteers.”

The East Lancashire Hospice was the beneficiary on Thursday as Irene Wilkins, who is The Mall’s Receptionist, Ask Me Point Supervisor Jason Cothliff and Marketing Manager, Laura Diffey all volunteered their time helping with crafts and chatting to patients.

Jason said: “The staff and patients at the East Lancashire Hospice are totally inspirational and I enjoyed my time with them.”

In addition, Operations Manager Andy Smith volunteered at the North West Air Ambulance shop in Blackburn and Ask Me Point Assistants Danielle Cannon and Rachael Kershaw helped with Blackburn with Darwen Young Carers.

Loraine Jones said: “It was great to see so many staff get involved in Volunteers’ Week and everyone had a story to tell afterwards. It created a real buzz in the office and it was evident that everyone put 100 per cent effort into the various tasks.

“Our charity work is very important to us here at The Mall so when we heard about Volunteers’ Week I was really keen to get involved by enabling staff to help with causes they feel passionate about.

“With so many charities needing support I would urge anyone that can to get involved in any way to do so.

“Volunteering is a great way of getting out and about and meeting new people while giving something back to the local community.”

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