Staff from Havant energy firm volunteer for the day

The Strand in central London was cordoned-off after some 1,450 people were evacuated from a nightclub and a hotel following a gas leak. Picture: London Fire Brigade/PA Wire

NATIONAL: 1,450 people evacuated in central London following gas leak

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EMPLOYEES at a gas firm gave up their time to spruce up the gardens of a hospice and an animal charity.

Southern Gas Networks (SGN) staff got their hands dirty at The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, clearing a large bank, removing chippings and carrying out other seasonal gardening tasks.

They also spent a day at the RSPCA centre, Stubbington Ark.

Each year SGN gives staff one day off to volunteer in the local community.

Quality manager at the hospice Jenny Redman said: ‘I’ve received very positive comments about how willing the team was to help out in whatever way.

‘I’d like to thank them all for giving us their valuable time.’

Julie Lowrey, from SGN, said: ‘We encourage all our staff to volunteer and help out local projects and give them a day off to do so.

‘Our Community Action Programme not only encourages good team work among our own people, but also makes a huge difference to the people we help, plus helps build community spirit.’