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A day volunteering at the Prospects Trust: Building a nature reserve

Andrew Parker V2

My colleagues Andrew, Ben, George, Graham, Ian, Jamie, Jen, Jon, Justin, Pete and I had the pleasure of joining the Prospects Trust on their developing nature reserve (set to open September 2024), located a few miles from Cambridge. 

The Prospects Trust is a vibrant charity operating as an organically certified working farm supporting its co-workers with additional needs. Established in the 1980’s they offer a safe, nurturing and enriching environment where the outdoors is used as a tool to develop skills whilst cultivating a range of high-quality produce to sell to market. 

On arrival, Mark Cornell, the farm manager, warmly welcomed us. Mark gave us an overview of the work that the Prospects Trust does and an inspiring personal account as to how he came to work here and his latest passion - the nature reserve.

However, before we headed to the nature reserve Mark gave us a tour of all the organic produce that was being grown. Spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, courgettes, pumpkins - and more! 


While walking around the Prospects Trust, we were greeted by many friendly smiles and waves from the co-workers. 

We then took a walk down a track, past a large field of crops to the nature reserve site where we would be helping to lay a new path.


It was great to see the whole team at Fluent work together, trying a little bit of everything. Measuring and cutting the bottom sheet, unloading the gravel, laying out the side beams, bashing in the wooden supports into the ground, and raking the gravel.



At 12:30 we stopped for lunch and enjoyed some delicious food made and packed by the co-workers on the farm. Vegan sausage roll, flapjack, apple, crisps and a drink.


In the afternoon we went back to the nature reserve and continued with the job at hand. Finally, to finish up on the day, we got to drive around the farm on this 1980s tractor. 


Here are some reflections from our Fluenteers on the day:

“What they do is amazing, and very worthy of support. it gave me a lovely sense of perspective, seeing what some people have to deal with, as well as being out in the open, achieving something physical”

Ian Grainger (Principal Engineer)

“It was rewarding to work as a team and lend a hand to a great local project.”

Jennifer Harb (UX Designer) 

“The day's volunteering at Prospect Trust was thoroughly enjoyable. Completely different to my work at Fluent and nice to be out with the team in a contrasting environment. Mark, the site leader had a lot of passion and a great vision for the site we helped with yesterday. Looking forward to seeing the results next year and I can walk on that path that I help to lay.”

Ben Manning (Project Manager)

“It feels pretty gratifying to do something that will be out in the world for anyone to see and use. I was impressed with how organically we all worked as a team without needing a leader.”

Graham Fraser (Software Engineer) 

Overall, our day of volunteering at the Prospects Trust nature reserve was truly memorable. We left with a sense of fulfilment and gratitude, knowing that our efforts would contribute to a beautiful and meaningful space for all to enjoy in the near future.

If you're thinking that you'd like your company to join the Prospects Farm for the day then email: [email protected] or call 01638 741551 

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