Student team up to help St Albans’ Grove House

WHEN seven students chose Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care as the charity they wanted to make a difference for, they really did go that extra mile.

Six of them, William Benjamin, Callum Jones, Andrew Goldsmith, Ashwini Ponnampalam, Rachel Kwiatkowski and Will Russell, travelled from their offices across the country to St Albans to spend a day together transforming certain areas of the Grove House garden.

A seventh student, Melanie Myers, who was unable to go to Grove House, has also been involved in fundraising for the hospice service.

Under the guidance of Sue Hobley, the volunteer garden coordinator, the students refurbished three benches, pruned hedges and cleared large overgrown areas of the garden.

Said Sue: “It was a pleasure to have a young, hard-working group of people, who worked so well as a team, to make such a difference to the garden. We are very grateful to them for all that they achieved in such a short time. Our patients really enjoy the garden and at the moment it is looking particularly beautiful.”

The students are currently on the Summer Internship Scheme at Aon Hewitt, the insurance brokerage and consulting firm, which has an office in St Albans. Apart from Ashwini, who is awaiting A-level results, all the students are currently about to enter their third and fourth years of studying for their degrees at Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Glasgow and Warwick universities.

As part of their internships they have been brought together as a team to raise funds and give up their time for a charity of their choice.

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In addition to spending a day working together at Grove House, the students have already come up with other ways to help Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care by fundraising at home.

William and Andrew have organised pub quizzes, as have Callum and Melanie. Ashwini has also held a quiz and both she and Callum have collected donations from colleagues.

Rachel sold her home-made sandwiches to colleagues in the St Albans office and raised �130. Will is holding a cake sale in Bristol this week, with a little help from his mother, and Melanie is busy baking for her sale in Leeds.

The students said they had enjoyed working together to raise funds for and help out Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care. They also agreed it had been nice to get out of the office and do something together that was so worthwhile.