Volunteering relay teams transform care home gardens into ‘beautiful and calming’ space for residents

3 April 2019

Fifty of Vodafone’s volunteering heroes took part in a relay over four days to transform two care home gardens in Berkshire.

In total, the volunteers dedicated 275 hours to creating an inviting and inspiring outdoor space for residents to enjoy. The gardens belong to Copper Beech and Orchard, two care homes at Ravenswood, Norwood’s collection of homes for people with learning disabilities and autism. The Copper Beech back garden was a blank canvas and presented a really good opportunity to transform the space into something more usable for the residents, as well as their families and staff.

Nadine Hodge, Dual Manager of the homes, says: “Although the residents can’t express how they feel, we know they are overjoyed with their new space. The volunteers have completely transformed what was a bare and uninspiring garden into a beautiful and calming environment which will be enjoyed by residents, staff and family. We are so grateful for everything they have done and for the way in which they did it, smiles on their faces and a genuine desire to help! The Vodafone volunteers are a truly wonderful group of people whose efforts will leave a lasting impact on our service.”

Each day the teams were split across the two services and undertook a variety of tasks – including sanding and staining wooden furniture, painting fences, building a planter, staining parts for a new arbour donated by one of the resident’s families, digging new flowerbeds and planting plants and trees, as well as tidying up the gardens. They also worked in one resident’s garden to create a new flowerbed and to stain fences. Vodafone also generously donated more than £400 worth of materials that were used across the project.

One Vodafone volunteer says: “It was one of the most satisfying things I have done in a very long time. From what the garden was to what it is now is transformational. I am immensely proud of what has been achieved and we really feel that what we have done has been appreciated.”

Vodafone volunteers have been vital and long-term supporters of the Ravenswood community.

Shona McBride, the Director of Workforce at Norwood, says: “Volunteers play a crucial role in supporting our services and enabling us to deliver quality care to the people we support. We are truly grateful for the generous donation of materials and time from Vodafone, without which we couldn’t have achieved a transformation on this scale. The benefits will be felt for years to come.”

The sister of a Copper Beech resident, adds: “My brother, who is severely disabled, spends a lot of time wandering around his garden, so I was delighted that a team of volunteers from Vodafone have done this work which will greatly enhance his quality of life. I’m so thankful to Vodafone for enabling them to take time out to do this.”