GSK staff dig deep!

GSK staff hard at work on Borrowfield School's garden.'Contributed photograph
GSK staff hard at work on Borrowfield School's garden.'Contributed photograph

GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) staff have been out and about around Montrose recently helping with a variety of projects as part of a community scheme run by the company.

Every GSK employee worldwide is allowed to take one day’s paid leave per year to go out and offer their services to local organisations.

The company has operated the ‘Orange Day’ scheme for the last four years and previously individuals have been left to organise themselves but, with more than 100 members of staff deployed and 700 man-hours completed so far, the Montrose site was keen to make a special effort to mark its 60th anniversary in the town.

Brian Rice, site human resources leader, said: “We wanted to make this even bigger this year so we put a committee together to co-ordinate and promote all activities. This has led to the highest take-up so far with over a third of the site already participated.

“We would like to raise that to over 50 per cent of the site with a couple more Orange Days towards the end of the year. We have had great feedback and appreciation from all the organisations we have helped.”

The supported projects have been varied and brought much-needed labour to the Day Care Centre where staff carried out garden work and external painting; Montrose Basin reserve, which involved painting, digging and fencing; Montrose YM where the group’s new community garden was tidied up and landscaped with vegetable plots and an Alpine garden; and Southesk Primary School, which is working towards its Green Flag Eco Award, by tidying up its existing garden and woodland area, installing bird boxes, rearranging its shed and benches and painting a walled area.

Further environmental projects were carried out at Rosemount Primary School where raised wooden vegetable plots were constructed and Lochside Primary School with the creation of a nursery eco garden. At St Margaret’s Primary School help was given to construct and mount a mosaic while local Girl Guides were given a hand to lay a patio and move a shed while at Borrowfield Primary School a vegetable allotment was created and the assembly hall painted.

Montrose Academy benefited from new picnic benches and a repainted common room, while potholes around Montrose Football Club’s main stand were repaired and chips laid.

Last but not least, staff also offered their services as stewards at Montrose Music Festival’s High Street concert.

Mr Rice added: “At GSK we strongly believe that supporting the community is important and the great thing about this scheme is that it gives individual staff the opportunity to personally contribute. We are delighted with our achievements to date in this our 60th Anniversary year and with more staff still looking to get involved we hope to identify some other opportunities to extend our support before the year end.”