The Guardian is sociable, fun place to work, there are lots of clubs and activities that people can participate in. In addition to being personally rewarding the social activities are a great please for developers to mix with other people who work at the Guardian from editorial, commercial, operations or the building staff who keep our office running 24 hours a day.
We have a choir, football teams and employees are given leave each year to volunteer for charity. Developers can also take part in Volunteering Week which aims to provide focussed cross-functional expertise on media and technology from the Guardian to charities.
Choirs are popular, sociable and a million miles from Songs of Praise and there is something magical, transformative about singing in a choir… and everyone can sing. There is something about singing with others that shakes you out of the normal drudgery of life. It’s good for your health, your well-being , your social life and a great stress reliever.
Anyone walking up to the third floor using the main stairwell, may have stopped to listen to some unusual noises emanating from the glass room. After all, it’s not every wet Wednesday that a crowd of strangers stand around shifting their feet nervously, humming their favourite bath-time sing-song numbers, producing the odd nervous doh, ray, me .
Once a week members of the Guardian Angels Choir learn how to sing popular and classical songs, which culminates in singing at a small concert, usually in aid of one of the Guardians chosen charities, New Horizons Youth Charity. With an award winning choir mistress (Liz Swain) the choir gives a high level of musical training to all members during rehearsals.
I came to Guardian Angels through a college who browbeat me to join and at first, believe it or not I was a bit shy, awkward, and reluctant at the idea of singing in front of people. I have come to realise that being in a choir is not just about singing hymns, but that it is so much more. We try to do a variety of songs because our age ranges and of course there is a mix of men and women so we like songs to bring out the different voices and make sure there’s something for everyone.
As a general rule, I leave the lunchtime sessions on a high and smile on the face so please come and join us… Its fun and will change you forever
Gwyn ‘The Soul-man’ Lockett
Every Friday lunchtime a group of ten or so people from Dig Dev and other departments gather to play football. Regardless or weather, or time of year we turn up and kick a football.
We play on a couple of pitches near work - both about a five minute walk away. It’s all very informal - there’s a minimum cost each few weeks towards replacing lost footballs etc. but otherwise just turn up - and you don’t need to commit to playing every week. Matches last an hour so by the time you’ve showered and had food it’s been a long lunch. But that’s one of the great things about The Guardian; people treat you like an adult - if you get your work done then no one is going to care if you take a long break.
For me, football has been a great way to get to know people, keep fit, and have fun playing my favourite sport!