Fullarton ConneXions is a social enterprise based in Irvine that supports a range of community initiatives by hiring out space and providing corporate hospitality packages. The return from events enables Fullarton ConneXions to provide (amongst other projects) volunteering for those seeking employment, host debt advice services and a community café, run toddler groups, inclusive discos and initiatives such as mind and body groups for older people.

With a packed schedule of community activities lined up for 2022, the team at Fullarton ConneXions were looking for some additional help clearing their outside space ahead of the Easter holidays. The car park needed a good tidy up to remove weeds, shrubs and autumn leaves to allow full use of the space, and the team didn’t have the capacity to be able to tackle the job fully.

Fleet Factors at work clearing the grounds of the car park

Fleet Factors are a vehicle maintenance company who manage the Council’s fleet store. They got in touch to discuss their community benefit commitments and how they could support a local organisation as a UK-wide business. The Fullarton ConneXions request had been added to the Wish List in October 2021 and was selected for delivery by Fleet Factors in January 2022. Due to the outdoor nature of the request, Fleet Factors and Fullarton ConneXions agreed a date for the work to be completed 5 or 6 weeks later in the hope of the weather improving (which it did!).

2 staff from Fleet Factors, Tom and Barnaby, spent a whole day at Fullarton Connexions working on the outdoor space in March 2022. Tom and Barnaby: “carried out grounds maintenance around their overflow car park, where we cut back overgrown grass, cleared leaves, pruned trees, giving full use of the car park again”. Having finished the work they’d planned to do ahead of schedule, they then went on to help the team at Fullarton ConneXions create an Easter trail for the local children to enjoy over the holidays, which was a great bonus project!

The new sign for the Easter trail with the freshly cleared carpark behind

The work has meant that the planned activities at Fullarton ConneXions are on track for Easter. The team told us: “The grounds in and around the car park are now looking much more inviting and hospitable. What is more, they will be easier to maintain going forward by our volunteers. We have also now reclaimed the dead space for car parking, meaning that members of the public can attend activities without having to park offsite – some who may be elderly or unable to walk long distances, or parents with small children and prams find this especially beneficial. The Easter trail will be an exciting educational activity for 300 children from two local primary schools in the build-up to Easter.”  With Barnaby and Tom described as “angels with power tools” by the staff at Fullarton ConneXions, it’s safe to say their visit was a roaring success!

Many other groups in North Ayrshire are looking for similar support with their outdoor spaces as we head into spring and summer. They’d love to hear from you, so if you think you can help, take a look at the Wish List, and drop us an email on communitybenefits@north-ayrshire.gov.uk to discuss the next steps.