A garden transformation to celebrate Volunteers’ Week

Yesterday, volunteer; Darren, clinical support worker; Anne and myself, transformed the outside space at the Beech Avenue office from an underused yard to an urban garden.

The project has been a long time in the planning. Last autumn at our staff day we discussed the Five Ways to Wellbeing (connect, be active, take notice, learn and give). The ‘take notice’ element sparked an idea to undertake the garden project to enhance wellbeing for both clients visiting Harmless and our staff who work so hard to support them.

Until now it would have been easy to enter the building without a second thought of its small surrounding space. Now there is a little buffer of calm and tranquillity. A space where staff can enjoy some fresh air during their lunchbreak and a colourful and uplifting welcome for clients who may feel nervous about visiting an unfamiliar place.

What better way to celebrate Volunteers’ Week! Many people have supported this project. Thank you to Brooklea Nursery and Morrisons for their donations. Thank you to our finance officer, Katherine who collected donations from members of the public who were inspired by the project. Thank you to Anne, who despite working the nightshift at our Sanctuary service, got up early to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. Finally, thank you to our volunteer, Darren who came armed with tools, practical know-how and bags of enthusiasm to help bring this project to fruition. I think the before and after photos speak for themselves…

I am looking forward to the bench being a picnic spot favourite, our own Harmless tomato crop and birds settling into the bird boxes soon.

Happy Volunteers’ Week to everyone who has made this possible.

Anna Maggs; Quality and Relations Manager

Front of the building before…
Side of the building before…
…and after
…and after