In a heartwarming display of community engagement, the marketing and loyalty team from Hilton’s corporate head office in Watford recently embarked on a corporate volunteering initiative at Ascend’s Dig Deep allotment (South Oxhey), fostering a sense of unity and purpose among its staff.

On 25th April 2024, the allotment was buzzing with 70 Hilton volunteers taking part in various activities designed to enhance the South Oxhey allotment's natural environment and biodiversity.  Aligning with the council's and W3RT’s commitment to fostering community spirit and promoting environmental sustainability, the marketing and loyalty team at Hilton took part in:

Wildlife Path Clearing: Volunteers have cleared a new path in the allotment's untouched section, facilitating better access for local wildlife and contributing to the area's ecological diversity.

Woodland Restoration: The team's efforts included removing invasive ivy and replanting with native species within the woodland area, aiming to restore its natural balance and support local flora and fauna.

Allotment Maintenance: General de-weeding activities also took place to maintain the beauty and health of the communal green space.

ASCEND, a project of Watford and Three Rivers Trust (W3RT) welcomes volunteers to the allotment. Research has shown that such initiatives boost employee morale, enhance teamwork, and foster a sense of purpose and belonging. By creating opportunities for staff to engage in meaningful activities outside the workplace, companies like Hilton have the opportunity to nurture a culture of empathy and social responsibility. The benefits of corporate volunteering extend beyond the immediate impact on the community.

W3RT’s ASCEND Dig Deep allotment is an area of land in South Oxhey which is leased from Three Rivers District Council. The charity is using the land to create training and personal development opportunities for adults of all ages. 

Activities are designed to embed skills for life, to make new friends, improve physical and mental health and strengthen confidence and self esteem. Learning undertaken has already included land clearance, greenhouse and raised beds construction and organic horticulture skills. The charity is keen to use green technologies such as rain water collection, solar power etc. and include a variety of planting techniques to attract appropriate wildlife/ insects etc to support the environment.

Rebecca Young, Head of Strategy and Partnership, shared her thoughts on the event: "We are proud to host the Hilton marketing and loyalty team for their away day at our community allotment. This collaboration exemplifies the spirit of partnership and community service that we strive to promote within our district. The dedication of volunteers from Hilton will not only enhance the allotment but also strengthen the bond between the community and the environment.."

For the participating employees, the experience was both fulfilling and enlightening. Stijn Bastiaens, vice president, marketing & loyalty, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Hilton, reflected on the day, "The team really enjoyed their afternoon with the Dig Deep team, learning about the different ways the allotment provides learning and personal development opportunities and supporting them through various gardening activities as they transform the space into a community garden. It was an honour for us to extend the light and warmth of Hilton's hospitality to the local community. Thank you to the team at Dig Deep for hosting us!"

Amanda Williams, Deputy CEO at W3RT said “Volunteering is the heartbeat of community engagement and we are extremely grateful to the Hilton marketing and loyalty team for supporting W3RT ASCEND's dig deep project.  Using your corporate volunteering hours to help others is a great opportunity for teambuilding, achieving goals together and making a difference for those who need it most.”

Find out more about the Dig Deep allotment and how to take part: