Staff at an Elland company have returned from a life-changing volunteering trip to India and Sri Lanka.
Four employees at print services business ABS UK Ltd embarked on the charity mission to lend their support to a local school and orphanage.
The visit was organised through ABS’ charitable arm, the ABS Foundation, which supports community projects.
Earlier in the year, the foundation funded the build of a new roof for East Coast Primary school in Tharangambadi, India.
David Lees, corporate social responsibility and marketing coordinator at ABS, kicked off the mission by revisiting the school to see how the funding had helped and to discuss future projects, including new toilet and playground facilities and new flooring to help improve the facilities and environment for the children.
The company has estimated it would need to raise £5,000 over the next quarter in order to deliver this.
David then joined three other ABS employees in Sri Lanka at the Eliya Children’s Home. The ABS volunteers – Stacey Langley, Ben Tighe and Petr Pospisil – spent three days at the children’s home and took part in vegetable cultivation, gardening, repairing water pipes, IT literacy training and general maintenance of the home.
The team also delivered clothes and toys donated by colleagues to the orphans and to a nearby charity for the disabled.
Since 2015, ABS has donated more than £18,000 to the children’s home – which has helped the home build a new infirmary and install solar panels. The solar panels have helped the home to make a saving of 95% on their monthly energy bills.
Stacey, who is PA to the directors at ABS, said: “This really was a mind-blowing experience and one that I will never forget. To see 30 happy children, many with no parents, living together in a safe, clean environment was so positive.
“The volunteer trip has made me realise how lucky we really are, but the children are also very lucky to be cared for by such great staff at Eliya. I will certainly be going back to volunteer here again.”
Paul Lees, director at ABS UK, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to send four of our employees on this unforgettable charitable trip on the first anniversary of our Colleague Care Incentive to reward them for their hard work over the past year.
“We hope to continue the legacy of the ABS Foundation and provide a valuable contribution to the continued development and upkeep of both the school and orphanage.”