Donations Help Our Garden Look Sunny
Our resident gardening volunteer, Jane Campion, has been hard at work since lockdown measures have been eased. Our garden has been neglected since March and with the water switched off many plants perished. Jane (and her two dogs) have been busy weeding, mowing and jet washing to get the garden ready for when the Centre re-opens. But the garden still looked a little sad with the lack of plants.
Jane put out a call out to the local garden centres and we were incredibly fortunate that Suzi Bone from Chiltern View Nursery and Fiona from Dobbies Garden Centre both offered to donate plants. Along with another volunteer, Gill Smith, plants were chosen and both places have been incredibly generous – with over £300 of plants and compost donated in total. Whilst the ground is too hard to plant them all in their final place, Jane has a plan to use some of the many pots and planters we have to make the Centre look fantastic.
Along with these generous donations, Jane was hit with another blow when our wheelbarrow was stolen. Again another mention on social media and a very kind person bought us a brand new one – now under lock and key!
Jane has been our volunteer gardener for several years, after passing the Centre regularly and feeling sad that the garden was looking unloved. Since she has been in charge of it we’ve had lovely displays of plants, the lawns and hedges are well-kept and our patio area is a lovely place to sit and enjoy the sun, along with the scents from our sensory herb garden.
We are slowly starting to re-open the Centre to allow staff to return and to offer a small number of face-to-face physio appointments to our members who need it most. We know that people with multiple sclerosis have been left without any physical support during lockdown, which is why we moved to offering online classes, treatments and assessments. But this is no substitute for seeing people face-to-face and we are working hard to prepare the Centre for welcoming a few members back at the end of Summer. The garden is an important part of this.
We are overwhelmed by all of the support that we have been offered during lockdown, when the Centre has been closed and all our fundraising activities cancelled. Our garden is so important as a space to reflect, relax and get together and now we are working to re-open the Centre this is more important than ever, Our heartfelt thanks go to Suzi, Fiona and all of the staff at both Chiltern View Nursery and Dobbies and our lovely wheelbarrow donor. Thanks also to Jane and Gill (along with Pepper and Fraggle) for making the Centre garden look it’s best.
If you would like to volunteer your time or experience to us we have lots of roles available, with more coming up later this year once we are open again. Visit our Volunteer Page for more information.