Dunston Hill Primary School’s environmental garden in Gateshead received a makeover ahead of the new academic year thanks to employees from Northumbrian Water.

Nine members of the water company’s Meter Field Services team responded to a Facebook post which asked for volunteers to help give the school’s outdoor space some much-needed TLC.


The nine water workers pitched up during the summer holidays, using time made available through the company’s employee volunteering scheme, Just An Hour, and quickly set about painting benches, treating fences and mending wishing wells, not to mention digging, weeding and generally tidying up.


So impressed were the teachers that they gave the visitors an extra project, tasking them with building wooden dens for the pupils to enjoy once the school re-opens on Tuesday 7 September.


Some of the Northumbrian Water crew actually returned the following day to finish off one or two little tasks they hadn’t got round to completing, such was their dedication to making the garden look as beautiful as possible.


Emma Taylor, a Customer Manager at Northumbrian Water, and one of the volunteers, said: “The teachers were chuffed to bits which was fantastic to hear.


“They were really impressed with what we did. But there were a few things we weren’t able to do because we either didn’t have the correct training or correct equipment, so they said they’d be in touch again next year to see if we can help some more.


“We’ve been doing something similar with Sunningdale School in Sunderland since 2017, so hopefully this is the start of another long-term relationship.


“The guys in the Meter Field Services team are outside all the time. They’re all grafters and are always more than happy to help anyone.


“We had a great time, the teachers were brilliant, and we’re very proud to have played our part in transforming the garden.”


Northumbrian Water employees are encouraged to support community and charitable organisations through the Just An Hour scheme.


For more information on how Northumbrian Water supports local communities and to request volunteer support, visit the ‘Responsibility’ section of