'Truly humbled': seasonal workers in Jersey give up weekend and donate wages to make a difference

  • ITV Channel's Hannah Ludlow went to meet the seasonal workers dedicating their free time to help others...

A group of seasonal construction workers in Jersey are giving up their weekends to volunteer in the community.

Since arriving from Kenya, St Lucia and the Philippines on nine-month work permits, the group has decided to help people with learning disabilities to spruce up their gardens before the summer.

They are working alongside local charity Les Amis, which supports islanders with learning disabilities and needs help to maintain the 40 sites it owns around Jersey.

The workers are giving six weekends a year to charitable causes, and have also donated some of their wages to charities in Jersey and back home.

Construction worker Fred Wesonga says he wants to give back to the island that he feels indebted to.

He said: "It's what we receive from God, that chance to come to work here, it has a great impact on our lives.

"So we feel this is the best way we can give back to the community, to the people who are needy, to show that actually we are grateful.

"Money is not everything - you may have wealth, you may have a lot of money but if you don't reach out to touch somebody, that is the calling that we have."

The workers have been dedicating their weekends to painting the outside of residents' houses as well as sprucing up their gardens. Credit: ITV Channel

Mr Wesonga also wants to help those back home in Kenya by donating to charities like Nyumbani Children’s Home.

He said: "There are vulnerable children who are left on the streets by their parents, maybe because of AIDs.

"We felt it was important so they feel like someone is thinking about them."

Ayub Omomdi has been in Jersey since last April, and says working at the weekend is also a great chance for the group to socialise.

Ayub says it feels great to spend his free time helping others. Credit: ITV Channel

Mr Omomdi said: "If you want to help yourself, you help others.

"We have that feeling that whatever we do, for charity when we help others, there's that mother nature feeling that someone always has your heart, you feel good."

Alex Black, who works for Les Amis, believes the initiative has helped people who otherwise would not be able to maintain their gardens.

Alex says Les Amis is grateful for any help they get with gardening and maintenance work. Credit: ITV Channel

Mr Black said he is "incredibly grateful" for the generosity of the group.

"Not just for their help with getting the work done, but also to meet them as well," he said.

"They're a smashing group of people, and I've been truly humbled meeting some of the people here and hearing their stories."

Lee Madden, managing director of GR8 recruitment who brought the group over to Jersey, said it was their idea to give up their free time to help others.

Workers help with weeding and collecting leaves. Credit: ITV Channel

Mr Madden said: "The idea to do this was born from the guys.

"They said 'we don't work Saturday and Sundays, and we enjoy working, so is there anything we can do?'

"They work hard, they're cracking workers, and all our clients absolutely love working with them because they've got an amazing work ethic."

Mr Madden hopes to bring more workers over to Jersey and to the UK in the future.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…