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GL events UK continues its exciting partnership with the Canal & River Trust as part of an ambitious social value programme for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

This charity organisation is committed to protecting and maintaining waterways, nationwide. In total, the Trust is responsible for 2,500 kilometres of canals and 550 kilometres of rivers in England and Wales, and is one of the best examples of industrial heritage in the world.

During recent years, the climate crisis has become increasingly prevalent and pollution levels are also said to be on the rise. In addition, urbanisation has resulted in habitat destruction, which is one of the greatest threats to plants and wildlife in the UK. As a result, the Canal & River Trust has devised a brilliant initiative to address these problems by planting new trees in the heart of Birmingham, and will be assisted by volunteers from various organisations, including GL events UK.

Rachel Baker, Director of Marketing & CSR spoke passionately about this emerging partnership, “Inspiring our workforce through volunteering initiatives with charities like Canal & River Trust is a key element of GL events’ CSR strategy. Even though all our teams work in busy and pressurised roles and can find it hard to justify time away from their day job, the evidence is clear that spending time outdoors with colleagues is a positive experience, provides some much-needed headspace, and leaves everyone feeling re-energised. 

As the Official Overlay Supporter, our team can be forgiven for seeing Birmingham 2022 just from the perspective of our contribution as a supplier – so it is also great for us all to take part in something much, much bigger. By supporting Canal & River Trust within Birmingham, we are witnessing the collective enthusiasm within the community, as they prepare their city not just for two glorious weeks during the summer but for the legacy of the Games and for long-term investment in their natural environment.”

Volunteering initiatives with charities like Canal & River Trust is a key element of GL events’ CSR strategy.

Rachel BakerDirector of Marketing & CSR - GL events UK

As part of the organisation’s mission to create a record-breaking orchard, GL events UK personnel were going to take part in their second volunteer day with the Canal & River Trust to assist with the planting of 3,000 fruit trees that will eventually span 50 miles along waterways in the region.

In planting a community orchard, Canal & River Trust felt it was important to conduct an assessment of local site conditions, taking into account the potential for soil and water contamination. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, GL events UK was unable to plant fruit trees before the evaluation was completed.

GL events UK and Canal & River Trust hopes to continue planting fruit trees to be part of the linear orchard, as well as restoring gaps in hedgerows later this year.

Instead of the fruit trees, the volunteer day involved GL events UK personnel planting numerous nut trees and daffodils along an embankment near the towpath. In the long-term, these trees and flowers will contribute to the growth of wildlife habitats, the promotion of health and wellbeing, the improvement of air quality and provide nuts that can be harvested by local communities.

GL events are helping us make a real difference to the Birmingham environment, through work that will benefit local communities for generations to come.

Camilla WoodCorporate Fundraising Manager - Canal & River Trust

Camilla Wood, Corporate Fundraising Manager at Canal & River Trust was grateful for the on-going support that this partnership provides, commenting, “We are delighted to have GL events working with us, alongside our other corporate partners, making a real difference to the Birmingham environment – work that will benefit the local community for generations to come.”

If you are interested in finding more information about GL events UK’s volunteering and partnership with the Canal & River Trust, check out our latest social values updates. Through these meaningful, long-sighted partnerships, it’s exciting to witness social value in action across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region.