Green Estate are an organisation that work within the Manor and Castle areas of South Sheffield. Their goal is to improve the relationship between the land and its people through social, landscape and cultural initiatives.
Green Estate decided to hold a team building event for their staff that would be centred on the renovation of Manor Oaks Farm. The event would span an entire week with a host of different activities to help build team morale, break down barriers and increase their attachment to the farm.
This was an incredibly fun project for everyone to work on. We mustered up all the costumes we could find and set off down to the farm. The aim was to get all the staff involved in bringing the farm to life, for both themselves and the visitors. To do this, we went in armed with a lot of costumes, some fake moustaches and some cameras. The idea was to get the staff to create fictional characters from the farm’s past and build a photographic story of their lives.
Creativity was allowed to run wild as stories were created by three different groups, getting everyone to take part. A man was jilted at the aisle after revelations about his various affairs; the inquisitive Miss Mopple had to solve a puzzling series of murders at a party held by the Lord and Lady of the Manor and some returning soldiers discovered their lovers had not exactly been faithful in their absence! Organisational boundaries were thrown out of the window as even Green Estate manager Claire Dykes got involved, appearing as a pregnant woman, a widow and Lady of the House.
Rather than just seeing it as a building site, the activity allowed the staff to see the farm as a place of stories, to engage with their environment so that, in the future, they could help others engage with it. The adoption of different characters allowed people who would often stay quiet to really come out of their shell and become vital members of the group. They would have memories to look back on and share, meaning they become closer as a group and their attachment to the farm increased, helping them to be more enthusiastic with visitors when the farm was open.
Did it work?
We’ve got the slide shows the different teams created and they certainly look like they had a lot of fun. The stories were inventive and the entire event was enjoyed by everyone, including us at Dead Earnest!