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Power workers swap keyboards for spades

Electricity staff will be helping the National Trust for a day at Knole in Sevenoaks.

From Press releases - 11 March 2016 12:00 AM

Electricity staff will be helping the National Trust for a day at Knole in Sevenoaks.

Up to 15 electricity workers from UK Power Networks will be working on the 1,000-acre grounds which surround one of England’s largest country houses next Wednesday (March 16).

They will be swapping phones and keyboards for spades and wire cutters while they install wooden fence posts along the driveway to protect the verges and dismantle old deer fencing for disposal. If there’s time they will also be clearing some historic pathways in the park, with the Trust’s premises team.

The volunteers, who usually work in Bircholt Road, Maidstone, will be led by Paul Atkinson, a lead design engineer at UK Power Networks. He organised the challenge after talking to his sister, the house steward at Knole.

Paul said: “A lot of our volunteers are office-based staff so it’s nice to be out in the fresh air, get some exercise, do something different and feel good about putting something back into our communities.”

Alex Gasson, premises and events assistant at Knole, said: “Volunteers are an important part of our work here at Knole so we look forward to welcoming the UK Power Networks team to the park. It is a beautiful place to work and even when the weather isn’t so good it’s a very atmospheric location.”

UK Power Networks keeps the lights on across London, the South East and the East of England, and gives all its employees two days paid leave each year to volunteer or fundraise in the community. Last year employees spent nearly 5,000 volunteering hours working with local charities and conservation groups, making 2015 the company’s biggest ever year of volunteering.