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Community action is globally recognised

TWENTY-two years of community involvement at Novartis Grimsby has been given recent top level backing, spurring on the latest partnership day.

Community action is globally recognised

“We first held our Community Partnership Day in 1997 and we are still playing our part,” Daria Hollinshead, communications manager, said.

“Our new global chief executive, Vas Narasimhan, has set out five priorities, one of which is to return more to society. It is an approach we have always made on this site, we have always had good links with the local community, so it is great that on a global level it is seen as one of five priorities. 

“As a manufacturing site we do what we can do in the local community.” 

Nearly 30 volunteers made it a big team effort, with even a Novartis retiree joining in.

Cloverdale Care Home at Laceby was selected as the focal project, with a complete renovation of a patio area where residents can sit out and enjoy the nice weather. 

It was thoroughly cleaned, with planters filled and old raised beds moved, fences fixed and strawberries and gooseberry bushes planted and tended.

Val Evans, manager at the home, said: “They did a fantastic job, they never stopped no matter what the weather, they carried on and really did help us out a lot. The residents are enjoying it, they’ve been out doing some planting and as a thank you we are planning to hold a summer garden party BBQ, that’s what we’re aiming to do.” 

There was also a litter pick with Great Coates Village Council and the Novartis team also assisted with St Andrew’s Hospice eBay Shop. And while it was a day of action, it will certainly leave a legacy. Employee volunteer Steve Martin said: “I was inspired by those who work at St Andrew’s Hospice, and regularly provide their time and effort supporting such a cause. 

“I will definitely do more volunteer work in the future.” Back at the Moody Lane site and Novartis hosted a visit of special needs students from Grimsby Community College.

Mrs Hollinshead said: “For these students even coming in to a large staff restaurant and eating a meal can be daunting.

We gave them the opportunity to see a large organisation, how we work on a daily basis, and helped them understand what we do. 

“They study health and safety so we were able to talk to them about how we ensure we wear the right protective clothing and the importance of safety.  We  also chatted about making medicine, with some very constructive thoughts on the difference between medicine and drugs.” 

To complete the activity, collections were held for British Heart Foundation on site, ensuring the van had a full load of donated items to take away.

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