More than 40 volunteers from ExxonMobil Fawley armed themselves with rakes and spades or paintbrushes to take part in this year’s ExxonMobil Day of Caring initiative.

For the 13th year employees took a day out of their usual working schedules to spend that time helping a charity or community organisation.

This year, they went to Minstead Trust, in the New Forest, and to Bethany Christian Fellowship, in Holbury.

At Minstead Trust, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities to achieve greater independence, the team worked tirelessly to transform a turning circle on the main drive into an attractive bark-covered feature. They also painted part of the residential block inside the main building.

Bev Spanswick, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Minstead Trust, said: “Enormous thanks to the fabulous ExxonMobil Fawley team, they were absolutely amazing. Their hard work has made such a difference.”

At Bethany Christian Fellowship, another team of volunteers picked up gardening tools to give the overgrown grounds a makeover. They also repaired and painted the picket fence at the front of the church, assisted by Trant Engineering which kindly supplied new gate posts and expert manpower free of charge, as well as new shingle for the parking area. Veolia also gave the use of a skip, while Speedy Hire donated a variety of tools for the day.

Michael Horne, a Church Elder, said: “Maintaining the grounds is something we find a challenge. We are so grateful to the volunteers from ExxonMobil Fawley for their hard work, they have done a fantastic job and it is very much appreciated.”

Fawley Refinery Manager Simon Downing, who was one of the volunteers at Minstead Trust, said: “Since the Day of Caring initiative began at Fawley we have helped 54 different charities or organisations. We are very proud to be able to support the local community in this way. Thanks to all the ExxonMobil volunteers and to our contractor colleagues Trant, Veolia and Speedy for their help, it was a great team effort.”