With our One Day charity initiative now in full swing, we spoke to James Knowles to find out how he got on with his chosen charity. 


  • What charity did you volunteer for and why?
  • I volunteered for the Castleford Heritage Trust. I wanted to volunteer as I felt that their mill project would really add value to Castleford and I wanted to be able to say in years to come that I played a part in delivering it.


  • Details of the specific activity you undertook
  • I took on the organisation of an open day to raise awareness and funds for the Castleford Queens Mill that is due to be converted into a community space with a restaurant, Bar Café and training rooms. The water wheel is being restored to generate power and the old stones restored to mill flour, which will be used to bake produce for the restaurant and café.


  • What did you gain from your experience?
  • It was a great experience and very rewarding to be involved in the community and this very exciting project.


  • What do you think the charity gained from your volunteering?
  • We have delivered the best event so far and received praise from Wakefield council for the event and the positive economic impact it had for the shopkeepers in Castleford.


  • Do you think that your voluntary activity was worthwhile and why?
  • Yes. The Queens Mill is a fantastic space and the project celebrates the heritage of Castleford. Plus, having recognised the positive impact of our work with the Mill, Wakefield Council are now revisiting other heritage projects to see what else can be delivered to further enhance the attraction.


  • Will you continue to volunteer in some capacity?
  • I have been asked to organise other fund raising events including a race night and Christmas grotto.


As part of One Day, all Search staff now have the opportunity to apply for one day's paid leave which can be spent volunteering at a registered charity of their choice.