It’s important to us that delivering our services should not harm the planet. We also want to have a positive impact on the local community. All members of staff are allocated a minimum of five days a year to volunteer in community projects with local charities.

Restore - Oxford, April 2022

While embracing the new normal and with the weather starting to improve, we were able to get out and visit mental health charity Restore in Oxford to help with some jobs in the garden ready for spring. It was nice to be out in the fresh air and to be involved in work which will benefit the gardens throughout the coming year. We also managed to fit in a visit to the cafe which is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the view!

Wilts and Berks Canal Trust - Shrivenham, July 2021

With restrictions eased we’re able to get back out to help our friends at the WBCT and four of us had a day at the canal clearing a stretch of path and helping with investigations into the depth of the canal at Steppingstone Lane Bridge. Of course that meant pumping out a section of the canal so we all got a bit wet and muddy but the sun was out and we all dried off quickly!

Wilts and Berks Canal Trust - July 2020

Although we were unable to help in person this time due to the pandemic, we were able to make a donation to help the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust to purchase a flail mower which is now being used to maintain the towpaths of the canal near to our Watchfield office.

Alan Norris, the local work-party organiser, said "This machine will enable us to improve access along the canal and save much time which our small volunteer team can then use to improve and extend the facilities around the Canal Park and along the canal".

We hope to be able to join them on a work party day later in the year to test it out ourselves! Photo by Ian Skerry.

Yellow Submarine - April 2020

Unfortunately the Covid-19 outbreak meant we had to cancel our volunteering plans this Spring but we were still able to help our friends at Yellow Submarine thanks to the Royal Warrant Holders Association Charity Fund.

As a holder of a Royal Warrant, Montala is able to apply for a grant on behalf of a charity we have links with and we were successful in our application for funds to help Yellow Submarine to continue supporting their service users through the pandemic. With their hubs closed they needed to find ways to engage with their clients remotely and thanks to the funds they received they were able to purchase materials and equipment to allow them to do this.

Yellow Submarine - Witney, February 2020

We went back to Yellow Submarine for a half term holiday hub day. The theme of the day was summer and winter so we were thinking about the seasons and activities we like to do in the sunshine, a great way to brighten up a February day. Luckily, between playing team games, going for a swim and building sandcastles there was just enough time to eat the cupcakes we decorated ourselves.

Oak & Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre - Cricklade, January 2020

Four of us returned to Oak and Furrows to help feed the young hedgehogs which are still being looked after until the weather warms up and they are big enough to be released into the wild. We also cleaned and disinfected the bird of prey aviaries ready for the next patients, luckily they were empty at the time as the buzzard which had been in for treatment was released that morning.

Oak & Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre - Cricklade, December 2019

A group of us went to Oak and Furrows, a very busy local wildlife rescue charity, where a hot August has resulted in the centre being at full capacity with hedgehogs too small to hibernate. We were charged with making their beds and serving their dinner but we also got a chance to help some of the other birds and animals that are currently being looked after until they are well enough to be released back into the wild.

Wilts and Berks Canal Trust - Shrivenham, November 2019

A group went out to work with the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust to help clear a section of the canal bank in Shrivenham. WBCT are working to restore the canal to improve the habitat for wildlife and to make a community space for local residents to enjoy. It was a lovely day to be outside and we made a real difference, clearing and burning piles of vegetation from the canal side.

Yellow Submarine - Witney, October 2019

Another lovely day spent with Yellow Submarine at their Witney hub for some Halloween activities. After a hard day treasure hunting, pumpkin carving and slime making we all tucked into some creepy treats and a glass of witches brew.

Flo’s in the Park - Oxford, September 2019

We tidied up the garden around the community building we'd previously helped to decorate. The centre is now a thriving hub in the heart of the community.

Restore - Oxford, August 2019

We sent a team to help prepare for the Elder Stubbs Festival, run by local mental health charity, Restore. It was a lovely place to spend a sunny day and the volunteer coordinators were delighted with all our hard work.

Yellow Submarine - Witney and Oxford, August 2019

Four of us went to work at a Yellow Submarine holiday club - an Oxfordshire based charity organising days out for people with autism and learning difficulties.

Split across two sites in Witney and Oxford, we barbecued, swam and crafted our way through the day - it was clear how much the children love their time with Yellow Submarine.

Flo’s - The Place in the Park - Oxford, July 2019

A team of four went to Florence Park in Oxford to help decorate a building for use by local community groups. After a hard day’s work with brushes and rollers, a new lease of life was given to the former County Council building and Flo's are now able to offer a great space for local clubs and groups to meet.