Volunteering with Friends of Fogg Dam (and Gentle Bear)
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community and have experiences beyond your everyday. The Gallagher Bassett Workplace Giving Program supports employees to undertake volunteer work during normal working hours and is an ideal platform to use for team building as well!
“Team JJ” from Gallagher Bassett’s Darwin office travelled to Fogg Dam and met up with Friends of Fogg Dam’s (FoFD) Jeremy Hemphill. Jeremy shared his passion for Fogg Dam, sharing some stories then sharing the tools as we took the snake weed to task and cleared some of the path to improve access. Overseeing all was Gentle Bear.
Gentle Bear’s story began in South Australia, with teddy bears being given to police officers to distribute to children involved in serious traffic accidents or domestic violence. In the past 10 years, over 10,000 bears have been distributed all over the world offering comfort. He is a symbol for caring, compassion and charity, serving as an emotion aid and providing reassurance.
When I went back to the car park for the esky of afternoon snacks there were a couple of international guests there by their Britz van. They asked me what we were doing. I explained that we were a corporate group volunteering and also using it as a team building experience. They thought it was a great idea and will incorporate something similar in their own company when they return home. They also said thank you, which to me reflects how much the efforts of Friends of Fogg Dam to protect and enhance the natural environment are appreciated by locals and visitors alike.
It was a rewarding experience and “Team JJ” thank our generous host, Jeremy for taking the time to spend the afternoon with us. We saw for ourselves the amount of commitment and dedication FoFG has to preserve a place of environmental and historical significance, keeping the stories and culture alive for each passing generation to enjoy.
“What an enthusiastic group” stated Jeremy. “It was a great outcome for Friends of Fogg Dam with lots of snake weed removed and tree debris made tidy”.
After the group of volunteers left, Jeremy returned to the dam wall and took two photos showing some of the 50+ brolgas way out on the plain with a group of water buffalo.
We all certainly had a great day out of the office, sharing some time with Jeremy and the critters. A few sore muscles but a good night’s sleep that night!
Mary-Louise Curtis, Gallagher Bassett
Friends of Fogg Dam working bees are generally held on the last Sunday of each month, starting at 9am and ending with a BBQ at midday. For more information, please contact Jeremy (Secretary, FoFD) at [email protected] or Pauline (Chairperson, FoFD) at [email protected]