Lockheed Martin UK Hosts First Volunteering Day

Business in the Community - CARES

London, UK, 22 September 2009: Thirty employees from Lockheed Martin UK took part in the organisation's first Volunteering Day held on 12 September, to help make a difference in local communities around the UK.

The three events located in Ampthill, Farnborough and Havant, all in the vicinity of Lockheed Martin UK sites, were organised in conjunction with Business in the Community Cares, which helps those less fortunate enjoy their outside space, as well as improving their local environment. Cares' projects support a wide range of community groups across the UK and aim to deliver the greatest impact to areas in which it is most needed.

Fourteen volunteers from Lockheed Martin UK spent the day at Leonard Cheshire Disability's Agate House in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, which is a purpose built single-storey care home for people with physical disabilities. The day's project involved building and planting a sensory garden, to provide therapeutic space for residents to enjoy for years to come. The tasks included the creation of a perimeter fence for the garden, transferring earth and soil from sacks to the site, bed planting, container planting, minor landscaping and general gardening within the grounds.

Wendy McGauley, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Agate House, said: "I am delighted that Lockheed Martin volunteers chose to give their time to create a sensory garden here at Agate House. Our residents will benefit immensely from being able to enjoy nature in a safe and tactile environment. Spending time in the garden will greatly improve their physical and mental well-being that would not have been possible without the efforts of the Lockheed Martin staff, for which we are very grateful."

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of services to disabled people. Supporting around 21,000 people in the UK, they offer a wide and growing spectrum of services, including care homes, supported living, domiciliary support, day services, resource centres, rehabilitation, respite care, personal support and training and assistance for those looking for work.

Cherrywood Community Primary School in Farnborough, Hampshire, is located in a disadvantaged area where a large percentage of children live in accommodation with no access to a garden. Consequently, the school wanted to develop an allotment area where the children could grow vegetables and flowers, as well as making their outdoor grounds safer for pupils to use.

A team of eight Lockheed Martin volunteers created allotment-style vegetable and flower beds providing each class with their own plot.

The Head teacher, Mrs Barbara Goodchild, said: "We are very grateful to our volunteers for helping us in this way. Growing vegetables and other plants is part of our curriculum and now there will be the opportunity for all children to have regular hands-on experience."

Barncroft Junior School in Havant, Hampshire welcomed a team of eight volunteers from Lockheed Martin to help revamp their pond area and transform an overgrown meadow into a reading garden for the pupils. These areas have not been used by the school for many years and the team worked with a local woodland conservation officer to clear the pond and remove overgrown vegetation. The woodland meadow area was in poor condition, which required the removal of waste dumped or tipped on site.

"Having a large group of volunteers from Lockheed Martin working in a day has made a real impact and reinstated this area of the school, which would not otherwise have been achieved. This is generating renewed enthusiasm amongst the pupils who are now able to use this valuable resource as part of their environmental studies," confirmed Peter Hodges, Volunteer Conservation Co-ordinator, Barncroft Junior School.

For many years, Lockheed Martin UK has had a significant involvement in the local community, supporting various initiatives, especially in the education field. In 2009, the company's commitment to the environment in which we live and work is as great as ever, with Lockheed Martin not just wishing to be seen to be involved, but actively participating in many activities. All employees are positively encouraged to become involved in activities outside work and a high percentage of the workforce is proud to contribute their time and energy.

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Cares is Business in the Community's national campaign to engage employees in their communities through volunteering. More than 400 companies support city-based and regional Cares partnerships in 35 locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Cares acts as a broker and advisory service between companies seeking to contribute time and resources and the voluntary/community sector seeking help.

Lockheed Martin UK, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, is a leader in systems integration working on major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. The organisation works with more than 100 business partners and employs over 1700 people at sites across the UK.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.

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