Twenty Six members of our National Housing Prime contract were invited to volunteer at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) ahead of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall’s visit this week.
Staff from across the Central South, Helpdesk, Complaints and Local Customer Service teams were invited down to the Central South region by Richard Slack, one of our Area Managers, who organised the day. The team assisted the NMA grounds team in preparing the site for upcoming events. Some of the tasks included cleaning memorials, plaques and benches, restoring ornamented regimental stones and polishing brass commemorations to Service personnel who fell during the Iraq conflict in Operation TELIC.
The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance, a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial. Since planting began in 1997, the NMA has been a special place honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation in many different ways. Three of our volunteers, Richard Slack, Steve Angwin and Malcolm Minns, are Armed Forces Veterans
The day was made more poignant as a number of Army units were visiting the site to remember fallen comrades throughout the day. Whilst the team cleaned the Operation TELIC Wall, a number of soldiers came to talk about their friends and how they had served alongside them when they fell. This was truly humbling and a reminder to those present of the sacrifices the Service families, who we support, are asked to make whilst serving their country.
Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the memorial on 17 May and the volunteers worked hard to ensure that the preparations were completed on time and to a high a quality. Richard Slack, Area Manager, said, “The team worked extremely hard in the sun and exceeded the expectations of the NMA team. The day was a resounding success, we achieved more than expected, demonstrated our continued commitment to the services and lifted the spirits of those that attended. Many of volunteers commented that they would be back with their families to show them around this impressive site. We are hopeful that another volunteer day can be organised at the NMA in the future.”
Jason Humphreys, at the NMA, said, “I’ve just sat down at my desk following our royal visit today to look at emails and it’s fair to say that the grounds, particularly the route of the royal walkabout, looked absolutely fantastic. This is due to the hard work of our staff and volunteers and within those people, it’s only right to recognise the significant contribution that the CarilionAmey team made. In that respect I would like to thank you and the team for giving up their time and making a difference at the NMA, it was and is very much appreciated and we’d be delighted to have you with us again in the future.”