Rolling our sleeves up for a social goal
Cosun's head-office staff in Breda recently started working on a social goal. Working together for the local community has created a stronger bond between us and produced something tangible for people who need it, explains one of the project's initiators.
Cosun is a member of a network known as Engaged Entrepreneurs Together for Breda. The network puts people and organisations with something to offer into contact with other people and organisations, usually care institutions and social service providers, who can benefit.
Pruning, odd jobs and tidying up
In the spring of 2013, Cosun's head-office staff gave a children's garden complex in the east of Breda along the Molenleij stream a face-lift.
The complex is located between sports fields and a housing estate. Primary school children tend the gardens under the supervision of volunteers. They have been growing fruit and vegetables there for 33 years. It is an educational leisure activity in the healthy outdoors. By keeping the cost per child low, the threshold for taking part is also low.
The volunteers often put off major work on maintaining the gardens as they focus on supervising the children. Cosun staff from Breda therefore helped them to do up the complex, repairing fences and water pumps, tidying up, pruning, painting the clubhouse, renovating the kitchen and toilets. Hard but rewarding work. What is more, a couple of hours with pruning shears or paint rollers is a welcome and refreshing change from sitting in meetings or behind a computer screen.
New life for a children's toy library
In 2012 Cosun's head-office staff were linked to Noorderlicht in the Geeren Noord area of Breda. This community centre has a children's toy library that was on its last legs. Parents wanted to revive it but could not do so without help. 'It was exactly the kind of challenge we were looking for,' says one of the initiators. 'It was a lot of work with a lot of different jobs that we could tackle in groups. We turned out everyone's attics and garages to find the toys the toy library badly needed. And we were pleasantly surprised by what we found, both the amount and the quality.'
One of the jobs was to enter the paper records in the computer system. Cosun also bought cupboards that handy colleagues painted in bright colours.
Cosun helped announce the re-opening by designing and printing folders and preparing a media plan to draw the attention of the local press. Noorderlicht was also given a facelift; the walls were decorated with fabric posters of children playing with toys.