Volunteering Cover Page


P+HS Architects encourage and support volunteering activities. Every colleague gets a free 'Volunteer Day', a paid for day when individuals can give their time to community activity in some way. Over the years our people have volunteered for all sorts of causes, from lending a helping hand at food banks and animal welfare charities, to organising collections of Christmas gifts for communities in need. Overall, volunteering is a powerful tool for creating social impact, bringing together individuals, communities, and organizations to address pressing social challenges and build a more just and equitable society. Volunteering is also a positive experience for the volunteers themselves; giving back and helping others has a positive impact on people's mental health and well-being. That makes it a win-win in our book.

Celebrating the launch of our Social Impact Strategy in March 2024, our volunteers have been out in full force undertaking a range of activities to enhance a space. Read on to see these and other volunteering accomplishments from our brilliant teams.

Tree Planting for Yorkshire Ambulance NHS Trust

A team from our Leeds studio gave a helping hand to Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust with some hands on digging and planting to enhance wildlife habitats at the organisation's York site.

Organised by Callumn Beattie and Laura Bell in conjunction with Yorkshire Ambulance Service's Environmental & Sustainability Manager, Alexis Percival, the aim of the work was to improve the area and particularly to create a much-needed habitat for the endangered Tansy Beetle.

Supporting the NHS's Net-Zero Carbon aims the team planted 450 trees and various plants, helped towards establishing a thriving hedgerow, and dug a pond!

Well done to the team involved Callumn, Laura, Ben, Dan, Elliot, Lukasz, and Stefan! Through this collaborative initiative, we have not only created a lasting impact on the local environment but also strengthened the bonds between the practice and the community we serve.

Tree Planting

Christ the King Forest School Tree Planting

Some of our Stokesley team picked one of March’s many wet days to volunteer their time to help a primary school in Thornaby.

Organised through our client Thirteen, Christ the King Primary School were looking for assistance to improve a forest area on their land to give children who otherwise rarely encounter the natural world, a safe environment to explore and learn about nature.

Our valiant team of David Hunter, Martha Mackinnon, and Hayley Hunter braved the downpours to plant six fruit trees which the organisers hoped would support biodiversity on the site as well as provide a learning resource for pupils through the seasons, from blossom to fruit.

The day was made more interesting when the planned site of the trees had to be quickly revised after the volunteers hit a rock-hard surface whilst digging one of the tree pits. It turned out to be the remains of the old Thornaby Aerodrome runway. Fortunately an alternative location was available!

Volunteers Chris the King Forest 1

Tree Planting at St James Hospital for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

Four of our Leeds colleagues spent a hard but rewarding day planting trees at St James's Hospital for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, working alongside the NHS's experienced team on the replacement of trees along Beckett Street.

The outcome? 28 holes dug, 1,260 litres of earth moved, 28 trees planted and 3 exhausted people plus 1 older one apparently beyond repair. Latest updates suggest a full recovery was made thankfully!

Well done to all the hardworking team James Gordon, Joe Davenport, Shaun Blackburn and Izzy Scholey for getting stuck into the tree planting and enhancing a space for years to come. Good for the planet and good for future generations!

Volunteers Leeds St James 1
Volunteers Leeds St James 2

Fixing the Fences for Glenfield Hospital Secret Garden with Leicester Hospitals Charity and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Another week, another volunteering opportunity for the P+HS Architects team! This time they were restoring fences at Glenfield Hospital's wonderful Secret Garden with Leicester Hospitals Charity and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The Secret Garden is a charity led restored Victorian walled garden for staff and patients complete with charity café run by Leicester Hospitals Charity volunteers. A wonderful cause to donate our time towards. Great work team! Dariana Nistor, James Gordon, Laura Masa, Luke Siddle, Phoebe Millard, and Tim Wilson

Volunteers Secret Garden Leicester

Watch how the day unfolded below in this short video, courtesy of Dariana Nistor

Decorating a space to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Daryl Atkinson and Will Clark recently lent a hand, using their creative skills, to help PCP (Pioneering Care Partnership) with a charity coffee morning for World Down Syndrome day. Daryl and Will were responsible for decorating the room with all the decorations made by the children from the Together 21 group. Together 21 provide a wide range of fun learning activities to help children and young people, aged 0 – 17 with Down Syndrome to develop key skills. The Frog reference was because the children were learning and performing "We all Stand Together" by Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus.

Daryl said " We sampled some of the finest cuisine from the community kitchen and spent some time with those who use the centre to get an understanding of what the centre really means to them. We were told the options room group for adults with learning difficulties were looking forward to teaching Will some Egyptian dancing next time!"

We can't wait to see the photos from that one Daryl!


Lending a hand to support children and families experiencing hardship

Louise Drew spent a day working with children's charity Love, Amelia. Here's what she said about it:

"Working at P+HS has allowed me to volunteer some of my time with a local charity through their provision of a volunteer day for every member of staff.

Last week I spent a day at Love Amelia, volunteering with the team. Love, Amelia is a children’s charity offering support to families experiencing poverty and hardship across Tyne & Wear and County Durham. They accept donations of pre-loved baby items and gift them to families who need them most. Since launching in 2019, over 13,000 bundles have been distributed to families in the community. They support children from birth to 16years old to ensure no child goes without. Love, Amelia is designed to support families and ensure children have the essential items needed to be safe, happy and to thrive.

Whilst with the team I spent the day sorting through donations of clothes, toys and equipment, as well as reviewing applications for support and packaging up the items requested ready to head out to the families.

Having a young family myself and understanding the challenge of the cost of living made me want to spend time with this charity and give what I can to support others."

Louise Volunteer

Preparing for Planters at Blyth Riverside Resource Centre

Rowena Burbeck and Owen Thompson got their hands dirty recently by plunging into some gardening work at an allotment at Blyth Riverside Resource Centre (BRRC).

The facility is one of eight day centres created and run by Northumberland County Council, helping more than 170 adults with learning and physical disabilities. The centre provides support and valuable skill-building activities which are essential for service users mental health and wellbeing; their experiences at the centre helps them feel engaged with the wider community and provides an important sense of independence.

In an attempt to better the experiences for service users, BRRC are recruiting volunteers in 3 areas: Pottery classes to help build their creative skills, Bicycle repair to help service users learn to cycle and Gardening assistance to allow those involved to build a knowledge and gain practical experience.

The centre hosts a large allotment which due to the size, can be difficult to manage without suitable help from volunteers. Rowena and Owen cleared some space and prepared for the implementation of large planters, ready for service users to start planting the seeds of fruits and vegetables of their choice.

Finished min
Almost there on planter No 2 min

Key People