A garden at a learning disability service in Bradford has been given a makeover by staff from HSBC.

The team of six spent the day getting their hands dirty at The Learning Zone, a day opportunities service run by Hft.  Tasks taken on ranged from repainting fences and trimming bushes to tidying up vegetable patches. The generous group were inspired to lend a hand by an Hft support worker whose brother works at HSBC.

Hft’s Learning Zone is a creative and vocational learning centre offering a range of classes and activities including textiles, drama and sports to almost 90 people a day. The large outdoor space at the service is used for classes in garden maintenance and contains a poly tunnel for growing vegetables put to use during cookery lessons. It also features a gazebo where a band of people with learning disabilities regularly practice.


As well as working tirelessly in the garden, the volunteers also had the chance to meet adults with learning disabilities supported at The Learning Zone, who inspired the green-fingered group by showing them round and helping out with clearing the raised beds, potting plants and painting a fence.

Maxine Kneeshaw, Area Manager at Hft, said:

“We’re delighted that the team from HSBC gave up their time to spruce up our garden at The Learning Zone. It’s always great to have some extra pairs of hands and this group even had some fantastic new ideas for enhancing the space.

“The garden is hugely important to the people we support here, and allows us to develop new opportunities to support people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible. It’s now ready to be used throughout the summer – we’re all looking forward to enjoying a stimulating space for learning, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine!”

Ryan Burston,  Service and Sales Manager at HSBC, said:

“Myself and my colleagues at the HSBC branch in Leeds City had an incredibly rewarding day volunteering at The Learning Zone. We chose to volunteer at Hft as it not only helps people on a national scale but is also well integrated deep within our local communities.

“It was clear to see how well the team support individuals and it was an absolute pleasure getting to know everyone at The Learning Zone and the people they support. My team have already spoken about how keen they would be to do something similar alongside Hft in the near future.”

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About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently

For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance