20th September 2019

A fantastic AGCO community project was completed last week at the Lifeways Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Give & Gro matched our AGCO team with the Lifeways charity and brought us together to create, shape and deliver a project that will make a real difference. 

Give & Gro is a division of Gro-Organic, a not for profit social enterprise, which works to transform redundant plots of land into thriving community gardens and food growing areas. Why? To improve the mental and physical wellbeing of local people. Give & Gro enable businesses to donate their time, money or expertise to communities who need support, to bring about positive change in their communities. 

Lifeways project shelter 1 Lifeways project shelter 2 Lifeways project mosaic sign


The purpose of the project was to transform a plot of land into a fully functional therapeutic and sensory garden with food-producing perennials, a small farm and wildlife walk. During the week AGCO employees created a new mosaic Lifeways sign, built two shelters, made an earth oven, created the base for the new pathway around the Lifeways wildlife walk, relocated the chicken coup and repainted a bench.  Alongside the allotment and bee hives, visitors are now able to experience a complete journey, from seed to plate. The development of the garden will enable Lifeways to extend their therapy services so that, those who use the centre, can connect with nature and harness the healing benefits of the great outdoors to improve their physical and mental wellbeing. 

Completing this community project was a unique and fulfilling experience for all involved, as one AGCO employee commented, “I wasn’t sure what to expect today but it’s so much more than what I had hoped for. I feel really proud to work for a company who value their communities and allow us to participate in days like this where we can give back.  I have learned so many new skills with the support of my colleagues, I just can’t wait to do it again!”

Michael Forbes, CEO of Gro-Organic said, “I’m absolutely blown away by your team and how hard they have worked!”  The benefits of the AGCO team working together on this project will transfer straight back into the workplace.

AGCO also supported a mentee throughout the first day, as part of Gro-Organic’s mentoring initiative. The young recruit was able to meet AGCO employees, talk about different job roles and careers, whilst gaining a better understanding of the world of work and responsibilities that large organisations have within the communities in which they operate. The mentee also gained practical experience, using a range of tools for the first time, showing skills in carpentry as well as landscaping and groundwork.

The mentee explained, “I am so grateful to AGCO for letting me join them today. It can be nerve wracking thinking about work experience and walking in to an office for the first time, but this experience was relaxed and made me realise I have nothing to fear about work and meeting some of the bosses today, I felt inspired and excited about my future”

Lifeways is a charity located in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire. Since 1982 this fantastic centre has been providing services to the community which promote good health and well-being through natural healing, counselling and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. They support a wide range of orthodox and complementary therapies and visitors benefit from a variety of classes and workshops, as well as the strong sense of community that they foster.

Finished earth oven Finished Shelter Finished mosaic sign


Team AGCO Testimonials 

“Getting involved in the community project was a very enjoyable experience. Taking time out of my work routine enabled me to help this fantastic cause. As well as developing my carpentry skills, I also got to meet, work alongside and have fun with new people and understand what the Life Works charity is all about.”

“Having attended the event on Tuesday I would like to say what a fulfilling and uplifting experience it was.  Knowing that you are part of a wider team, making a real difference to people’s lives, is such a powerful endorphin!” 

“It was a really good day, great team activity! It was interesting to learn about Gro Organic and to work with them at Lifeways. It’s nice to feel that, by the end of the week, we’ll have made a bit of a difference to this local community project.” 

“Having AGCO support us to volunteer in the community is a great initiative. This scheme was well organized, and it felt great to be able to support Lifeways with our time. We also had fun problem solving, and built a surprising amount of camaraderie our project groups. Thanks for the opportunity!”

“Volunteering for a great cause through our CSR week was such an incredible experience. Spending the day outdoors, helping the community and seeing how grateful our chosen charity was for our input felt amazing! Petting and chasing chicken around the garden was good fun, too. Would recommend.”