Late in 2019, volunteers from Vodafone got stuck in with a gardening project at Chichester Court. They created new flowerbeds and vegetable patches to transform the environment for the people we support and their support teams.
Volunteering officer Ceri explains how the project came about. “Vodafone approached us to ask if there were any opportunities to get involved in a garden or house project in London, as part of their corporate volunteering activity. I got in touch with locality managers in London and was able to match them up.”
Locality manager at Chichester Court, Preatty Pasipamire, was delighted that the Vodafone team wanted to help.
“When I joined Dimensions a year ago, the first thing I admired about Chichester Court was the lovely gardens and location in a cul-de-sac between high-rise blocks of flats. Although we were complete gardening novices, my team and I had already made some improvements to the gardens, removing weeds from overgrown beds and planting them with tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, chillies, peas and sweetcorn.”
“Metropolitan Thames Valley (MTV) donated a £100 voucher towards buying plants, giving us a beautiful array of produce which we enjoyed harvesting and savouring.”
“We had ideas to expand the gardens but we were struggling to find the time. Then I got the email from Ceri about a team of willing volunteers from Vodafone. We arranged for the group to come to us for one busy day of gardening activity. Fortunately the heavens smiled on us and there was no rain. The Vodafone group helped us to clear out our gardens, plant flowers which were previously overgrowing in pots, cut down overgrowing brambles establish our new, gorgeous raised beds.”
“The Dimensions team used their culinary skills and produced lovely feast for the whole day. Everyone worked so hard. A special thank-you must go to one of our service family who donated towards the purchase of new garden furniture and higher raised beds, which we would not have been able to afford without her generosity. The garden in that service will be called Rehan Garden, in memory of her dear sister, and will be surrounded by Rehan flowers.”
“There’s still more that we’d like to do. We haven’t been able to afford a green house or poly-tunnel yet, where we could start our seeds. But soon we will be putting up a small fence to keep squirrels and cats away from our veggies. We’re looking forward to seeing new produce growing in the spring and summer”.
The gardening project at Chichester Court is a great example of how volunteers and partnership working can benefit us and the people we support. “We are hoping this will continue in the region,” Ceri says, “as Vodafone are keen to work with us again and there are a number of services that would like to be involved.”
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with us, take a look at our volunteering page or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org 0300 303 9162.