Why we’ve introduced Green and Blue Days

Last January, I started what I expect will become a New Year ritual for myself and The Agile Communications Agency. 

Instead of diving head-on back into client work, gruelling travel, sales and processes, I took some time for Sanctuary. Literally. 

I booked into a special place, Sanctuary Cottage. It’s nestled in St Clement in Truro – just a stone’s throw from my house and our office base but it feels like a world apart mentally. It’s owned by Simone and Richard, who understand as well as I do how to work not just hard but smart, and how to work on a national and international playing field whilst raising a family in Cornwall. 

It’s a calm yet powerful environment. You can sit and watch the tide come in and out, morning murmurations are a daily occurrence. There are muddy, waterside walks – by walking either left or right, you will end up at a pub, which is my favourite kind of walk. 

 

Taking time out to think and be in nature is something we are now building into the rhythm at Agile. 

Coffee table with magazines on it infront of a window looking out to a river in Truro.

In January 2023, it was at Sanctuary Cottage that I created our first employed role of Agency Manager. Caught in the minutiae of content delivery for a client job, I realised I can’t continue to develop a high-quality, high-growth agency on the existing model whilst still stuck in the weeds. 

Fast forward to January 2024, and we have two key awesome humans employed – Charla and Lyssa – and we are firmly on our B Corp journey. We took three days together at Sanctuary Cottage to set goals, strategise and deep dive into our priority projects for the year. 

As part of unpicking the Workers and Community sections of the assessment, we recognised that volunteering and giving back should be an activity that inspires and energises, enabling us to deliver our best strategic and creative energy towards our work. 

We also recognised that different team members are inspired by different environments. I am at my happiest in woodland and forest – a green space. Having dabbled in some Ancestry research, it turns out some of ancestors were woodsmen and paper merchants, which is perhaps why Il so calm in tree-filled spaces. 

Charla is most inspired by blue space – she has recognised that cold water swimming is super beneficial to her wellbeing, and her ideal day would be spending time with her husband and children at one of Cornwall’s many beaches. 

Lyssa loves both – so we’ve coined that she likes Teal spaces – woodland and water together. She loves a stomp across Dartmoor. 

So as part of our volunteering approach within our B Corp journey, we have established Green & Blue days. Quarterly days where the team can get away from their desks to give back and feel energised. 

We started on 1 February with planting trees at Penrose near Helston. The National Trust plans to increase woodland at Penrose by 10%, through planting 8,000 trees over two years across 110 hectares. 

When we joined the volunteer team, the majority of the 2023/24 season’s quota of 4,000 saplings had been planted. We could choose from oak, small-leafed lime, downy birch, rowan, hazel and crab apple trees – all native species. 

There’s more to tree-planting than we realised. We planted more than 70 saplings – cutting into the ground with a tree-planting spear, tucking the sapling’s roots into the ground, securing it with a stake and protective sleeve, and tucking the roots up with a natural fibre “blanket” to protect them from the elements. 

Whilst it felt like a physically accessible activity to take part in, we certainly felt it the next day. Here are some of the team on what they got out of our first of our Green and Blue Days…. 

“Other than the obvious benefits of being outside and doing physical work, I felt I got to know my colleagues better and connected through laughter.”

“Sometimes team building activities can feel forced or awkward, but this was anything but! We're all naturally big fans of nature, and I've always wanted to plant trees. Getting to do this as a team felt powerful and helped us feel connected. Thinking about how these small oak treelets will grow into giant trees in the future that will be an integral part of the ecosystem - felt really good! And it's easy to draw parallels between this and the work we're doing to grow Agile.”

"Planting trees with my team was more than just a volunteer day; it was an uplifting experience reconnecting with nature, bonding with colleagues, and making a real difference for our local environment."

Do you have an idea for our next Green and Blue Days?