Volunteering at Bow Foodbank and Spitalfields City Farm

ITIC Volunteer Days

ITIC Volunteer Days

Across two weeks in May, a number of Thomas Miller employees from ITIC, one of the 11 Mutuals managed by Thomas Miller, utilised the global volunteering policy, which allows employees 3 days paid leave per year to undertake civic and community duties.

Two teams across different days took the time to volunteer with two local charities to the London office: Bow Foodbank and Spitalfields City Farm.

Bow Foodbank

Bow Foodbank is a charity that exists to provide food and emergency items to people in crisis in Tower Hamlets.

A team of seven from ITIC (Ioanna Efthymiou, Tim Evans, Melanie Daglish, Geraldine Koon, Mark Brattman and Paula McCahey) spent the day at the Bethnal Green site for a foodbank shift. The tasks included moving new deliveries to shelves, counting stocks of regular items, packing bags of fresh food and then producing picking notes for order.

From here, the group then delivered packs of food and toiletry items to guests during the course of the day. Each guest received a core food bag, as well as additional food, cleaning, hygiene, period products and baby items.

On this particular day, the foodbank helped 1,308 adults and 386 children with emergency support (total household numbers). This included 42 guests over the age of 65, 76 guests from single adult households and 31 new guests.

The team commented: “It was impressive to see so many unsung volunteers who turn up regularly to do the work with barely a whisper – it was quite humbling to be there and several have mentioned that they would like to return to help more. The ITIC team thought the day was very worthwhile.”


Spitalfields City Farm

Spitalfields City Farm is the nearest city farm to the City of London’s square mile. As a registered charity, they work with a vibrant and multi-cultural community to provide educational opportunities for children and adults alike, to empower people to gain new skills, confidence, to combat social isolation.

Although they were slightly unlucky with the weather it did not dampen the teams spirits, ten employees from ITIC (Chloe Townley, Amelia Dunn, Tom Irving, Rory McKay, Tracie Goode, Maggie Hui Li​​​​​​​, Rob Sniffen, Elena Evriviadou and Rob Hodge) spent the day at the farm, taking on a variety of tasks to help out the farm for the day. This included mucking out the stables and sweeping the farmyard, and also working as team to clear out and prepare a large accessible planting bed, which included building a bamboo structure and planting Lablab Beans to grow this summer. They continued with the gardening efforts, re-vitalising another planting bed and numerous planting pots, freshly planted with French beans, Aubergine seeds and Marigolds! Lastly the team helped guide some of the animals (pig, sheep and donkeys) back to their stables for the night, giving them a good brush down after a rainy day.

The work ITIC did amounted to 50 hours of labour around the farm for the day, and corporate supporters through donations and volunteering contributes to help keep Spitalfields City Farm open. The team also worked alongside some other volunteers that give their time every single week to keep the farm going and support their education and animal welfare initiatives.

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller Group