Through its partnership with IBC (Independent Buying Consortium) Buying Group, Arbor Forest Products (Arbor) has donated £3,500 to New Holland Primary School with the funds paying for a much-needed sensory room for pupils. The donation extends IBC’s long commitment to charitable causes and continues Arbor’s positive community partnership with the school, with the two being close neighbours in New Holland, North Lincolnshire.


IBC is a leading buying group for independent builders and timber merchants, and Arbor is the UK’s leading independent timber importer and processor. Both organisations put community support at the heart of their CSR activities, and as a result of a World Cup sweepstake arranged by IBC, a £3,500 donation pot was made available for Arbor.


Creative fundraising

In its local area of Barnet, London, IBC is a supporter and patron of the Unitas Youth Zone and participates in other initiatives within the construction industry such as the Rainy Day Trust and the Construction Youth Zone. In North Lincolnshire, Arbor’s commitment to helping New Holland Primary is a fundamental part of its CSR activities, having donated an earlier £1,665 and allowing its staff to regularly volunteer their time to projects on site.


The £3,500 came about through a World Cup sweepstake, which 32 of IBC’s supplier partners took part in. By drawing Argentina, Arbor was the winner of the prize fund. To add an extra dimension to the sweepstake, a ‘manager’ for each team was appointed and, ahead of each match, IBC ran social media ‘press conferences’ on LinkedIn* in which the team managers were able to promote their company’s products in a fun and engaging way.


A welcome new space

New Holland School have used the £3,500 donation to create a sensory room for its children, featuring a constellation theme and an area which can be used by all pupils to read books and be creative. A portion of the funds will also be put toward another £10,000 fundraising initiative at the school to pay for new outdoor apparatus, with the pupils themselves also taking part. Arbor’s National Key Account Manager Guy Best (who was on the winning sweepstake team) knew instinctively that the £3,500 should be invested in New Holland School’s future.

Guy says: “The school is very much part of the New Holland community, and we are keen to be able to support and help in any way we can. We admire the way the school continues to make a difference to its pupils’ lives and we’re thrilled to know that our donation has been used to create a sensory room. Everyone at Arbor is community minded and our Chairman, Andrew Howarth, sets a strong example for us in this respect, having gifted the New Holland Community Centre to the village as a space for residents to enjoy.”

Investing in the next generation

New Holland School’s Interim Headteacher Hayley Twidale adds: “We love that Arbor gives back to the community and any money we receive positively impacts the children here. Whenever they donate or volunteer, Arbor’s people inspire our pupils, showing them that they can do more than they think possible, and that they can have a positive impact in the area. We’re improving standards here all the time and I want to carry on building a partnership with Arbor, to keep our community spirit very much at the forefront.”

Giving back and supporting charities that help young people is also important to IBC, according to Managing Director Dave Robertson: “The construction industry is a family, and many of us can identify someone who believed in us and gave us a vital opportunity. That’s why we’re always keen to support initiatives that give back to their communities. Young people need all the support that we can give them, so we couldn’t be more delighted that Arbor’s £3,500 donation has been used to build a sensory room at the school.”