A team of generous construction workers have given up their time to breathe new life into a garden at a learning disability service in Cambridgeshire run by national charity Hft.
After looking for an opportunity to give back to their community, staff from The Clancy Group were inspired to approach the charity by Senior Supervisor Nathan Selby, whose brother in law has been supported at an Hft service for five years. Keen to make a difference during a time that is particularly difficult for people with learning disabilities, two members of staff spent a day giving the outdoor space at the service in St Neots a much-needed makeover.
Marcus Ames and Craig Gamble, who usually spend their days repairing and replacing drainage infrastructure, got to work on the garden last month, when they transformed the large overgrown area into a tranquil outdoor space for everyone at the service to enjoy. Tasks taken on by the pair ranged from removing waste and turning over soil to creating vegetable patches and adding hanging baskets.
Thanks to Marcus and Craig’s handiwork, and support worker Emma Annunziata, who coordinated the project, the space is now full of features designed to boost the wellbeing of the four people supported at the service. These range from vegetable beds where people can grow their own produce and develop their knowledge of healthy lifestyles, to a water feature and windchimes aimed at encouraging sensory stimulation. People have already been supported to fill hanging baskets and plant flower blooms, and everyone is looking forward to enjoying the garden in bloom in the spring.
Claire Creek, Registered Cluster Manager at Hft, said:
“We’re so grateful to The Clancy Group for taking time out of their working day to give our outdoor space a makeover. We’re hoping to make our garden a piece of paradise for the people supported here and, thanks to Marcus and Craig, we’re so much closer to reaching that goal. For people with learning disabilities, community access is far more difficult at the moment, so we hope that having an outdoor space of their own will alleviate some of the isolation they may experience and provide a purpose and sense of wellbeing.”
Nathan Selby, said:
“It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to provide Hft with a garden that will hopefully bring joy and positivity to residents and the staff who support them. Our day to day work can be stressful and we loved having the opportunity to take some time out to do something different that would benefit people directly. I have two sisters working in social care, and a brother in law who is supported by Hft, which has made me appreciative of how difficult it can be to make projects like this a reality, particularly during these difficult times. We’re delighted to have been able to contribute and are really looking forward to working with Hft again in the future.”
To find out more about volunteering opportunities at Hft, visit: www.hft.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – 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.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk
Location: Hft Cambridgeshire