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Cyan's story

Posted on 03 February 2014

It was a really good way to realise that there is more to life than tapping away at a keyboard

“It was probably the hottest day of the year, but we all got stuck in and cleared derelict land, put down woodchip paths and built raised beds.

“It was really encouraging to meet the local people and to find out that what we were doing mattered to them. Some came and joined in with us straight away, while others promised to come back later and continue the good work.

“I can’t remember the last time I picked up a wheelbarrow, but it was a really good way to realise that there is more to life than tapping away at a keyboard.

“People are so busy you forget there is life outside the office. We really built up a sweat and felt we were doing something practical and valuable. I walked home covered in mud, but I felt like I’d had a really good day.”

Cyan Turan, aged 23, is an editorial assistant at the Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous magazine. She joined a dozen colleagues on a Groundwork/News UK volunteering day to develop a community garden in Bow, south-east London.

Groundwork London has been working alongside a local wood recycling co-operative, landowner Poplar Harca (a Housing and Regeneration Community Association) and nearby residents to help transform an area of wasted, neglected and fly-tipped space into a community garden and growing space. This volunteering day was part of a national partnership between Groundwork and News UK in which employees are offered volunteering opportunities on local projects resulting in more than 60 volunteering days and involving more than 1,200 News UK staff over 18 months.