In June 2015 MYT launched our #iwill pledge and our garden project this week was the next step in fulfilling this pledge. We wanted to be able to encourage small scale social action opportunities to vulnerable groups and this garden provided the perfect opportunity to do this. Our current Volunteer Team is very diverse in many ways and we welcome applications from people with disabilities and/or special needs. We thought we would like to replicate this within the community so we invited some of our volunteers and clients to form a social action group. Speaking personally I had a wonderful day watching the team come together and experience skills and situations that were new to them. The team managed to clear the entire back garden that was overgrown for a local family to be able to use. They did an amazing job on the garden and we finished off with a picnic in the sunshine. A special thanks to Santander Foundation for their contribution to this project through a Community Plus Grant.
I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling good about the day ahead and then saw the weather and my heart sank, but the Britishness in me said “NO! we will do this today, come what may”, and we were rewarded with sunshine as the day went on. We arrived at the house and although we knew what to expect by the photos we were shown when I signed up for this, nothing could prepare me for the size of the garden and the scale of the task. I spoke to Mum to see what her priorities were and she explained the neighbour would like a self-sown tree growing by their shed removed, so I volunteered to start there. At times Sue was playing Where’s Wally trying to find me as the undergrowth hid me well.
I was amazed at the attitude of all the volunteers and their cheerfulness and fun. It was brilliant to see them talking to the Mum and each other and kept each other going.
Safe to say that was just phase 1 of this task, phase 2 hopefully will be next month with phase 3 and 4 happening next year once fundraising is complete.
My overriding memory was the little chat I had with mum over lunch where I learnt a lot more about her and I am determined she will have the garden she needs and also meet her needs. Her wish list when asked was to have it cleared. However she did tell me in our chats that she would like raised vegetable beds, and she loves rhubarb so I think we need to get these if we can for her.
The day after I ache in my hands and arms but it was the best work out I have had in ages, next time join us you will have so much fun working with our extremely special volunteers.
I was not sure about doing this to start with, I have used gardening tools before so was not worried about them but I was worried it would rain and we would get wet or call it off again.
I did really enjoy it. It was hard work and I knew all of the young people and it was good doing it with people I know. The best bit for me was getting out in the open.
I like to be helpful. I had a fantastic day and I would do it again.
All the people were wonderful, they put their heart and soul into it. They were amazing at what they did even though didn’t have all of the equipment this time. I am very, very grateful.