A COMMUNAL garden in Salisbury has been reinvigorated thanks to a team of volunteers.
Staff from Wessex Electricals and Wessex Property Care, which is part of the Wessex Group, switched out their wires and fuses for spades and forks to spruce up the gardens at Graham House in Culver Court.
The Wessex teams recently undertook the lighting and heating upgrade to the properties and noticed the gardens needed work so approached resident engagement officer Eamon McClelland.
Managing director Stuart Fisher said: “The team have got to know the residents over the years and having worked on the interior electrical work, wanted to help out with the gardens so that the residents could benefit from the outdoor space too.
“We have worked with Wiltshire Council for some time, but most of our charitable efforts have been within our realm of expertise i.e. electricals and interior works, it was a welcome surprise when we offered to help with something outside the norm of our day to day job.”
Graham House has 18 sheltered housing apartments and has a large garden for residents to enjoy. However, in recent years, and coupled with the Covid pandemic the gardens have become overgrown.
Many of the tenants are not physically able to maintain the garden, which provides a much-needed social outside space.
The team cleared 18ft brambles and dead wood, as well as weeding and restoring the flowerbeds with new plants, clearing and rebalancing the patio and access areas. A communal bench was also replaced.
Eamon McClelland added: “We are really grateful; we know this isn’t their normal work and to give up their time to volunteer and give back to the residents is hugely welcomed. The residents have enjoyed watching the transformation and been giving advice on what is a weed and what isn’t.”
Resident Phil, once a keen gardener, came to oversee proceedings including the planting out of his beloved apple tree. He said “It’s nice to have them here helping out, I can see where I am going on the patio now and don’t worry about falling over anymore.
“There is so much light without the brambles and we have another apple tree to bring on. I am really pleased; we can come out here and enjoy it more now,” added Phil.
The project is the first in a series of Wessex’ charitable efforts with the aim of making outside spaces more accessible and more enjoyable for Housing Association residents.
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