Vodafone volunteers rejuvenate Ravenswood homes throughout 2018

7 January 2019

“Roll on the next one”: Vodafone volunteers rejuvenate Ravenswood homes throughout 2018

Over the course of 2018, over sixty volunteers from Vodafone helped restore homes and gardens at Ravenswood, Norwood’s collection of homes for adults with learning disabilities set in over 120 acres of Berkshire countryside.

In total, they dedicated 334 hours of gardening and DIY to giving Norwood’s homes and gardens a makeover for residents to enjoy. Most recently, volunteers spent two days in November working on two homes, Pamela Barnett and Copper Beech.

Ten volunteers worked on Pamela Barnett, tidying up the garden, raking leaves and painting the fence panels in bright colours. Five days later, another ten volunteers spent the day at Copper Beech, sanding the metal railings, staining the decking and painting wooden furniture and fences. All the paint materials for the Pamela Barnet activity were generously donated by Wickes Bracknell.

Norwood and Vodafone’s partnership has gone from strength to strength over the years. After five enjoyable and productive visits to Ravenswood during 2018, the volunteers are looking forward to returning in 2019.

Nadine Hodge, Manager at Copper Beech, said: “The volunteers are a great group of people who worked very hard to improve the appearance of our house in wet and cold weather. The fences, decking and furniture that they were able to paint before the rain got too heavy look great. The railings have been prepped for painting and we really appreciate them digging up our gentleman’s garden in the rain! We look forward to sowing the seeds for his wild garden. We really value their hard work –  they are lovely people.”

Rob Simmons, Assistant Manager at Pamela Barnet, said: “It always impresses me how willing the teams that volunteer to work at Ravenswood are. The team from Vodafone were no exception. They appeared motivated to enhance our garden, a resource we are grateful to have and that is used by the people we support to bring valuable sensory stimulation.

“One team worked on brightening up the fence panels with a variety of coloured paints whilst another team gathered numerous wheelbarrow loads of leaves. These are jobs that we find it difficult to find the time for, but are essential in the maintenance of an effective sensory garden. We are very grateful that the team conducted these tasks with a willing, hardworking and cheery attitude. It does make a difference to the lives of the people we support and I know that they are grateful too.”

Julia Hall, Head of Adult Services at Ravenswood, said: “It’s always great when corporate volunteers come in to support our work. But it’s even more special when they keep coming back and our Vodafone volunteers have been supporting us for a number of years. It’s fantastic to know teams like these keep returning and each time with some new faces, and others familiar. We are incredibly thankful to these teams and hope they will keep coming back as they make a genuine difference!”

Julie Whitbourn, one of the Vodafone volunteers, said: “This was my first charity day and it was a pleasure and rewarding to know that we have made a big difference to these people’s lives. The place was lovely and calming and Priya, Norwood’s Employee Volunteering Manager, was lovely and very welcoming. If there is ever a charity day again to go back to help at this home I would love to go back. It was a very enjoyable day with a great group of people – roll on the next one!”