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Volunteers praised for transforming Marshland St James care home’s garden

NCS Students create garden space for residents at Hickathrift House care home, Marshland St James
Front LtoR, Anna High (NCS Volunteer), Georgia Crown (NCS Project Manager), Robin Dunn (Head of Maintenance at Hickathrift House) ready to officially open the garden by cutting a branch (instead of a ribon), also in pic are Ceri Mills(Acting Manager back centre), other staff, residents and NCS Students involved in the project. ANL-140822-202039009

NCS Students create garden space for residents at Hickathrift House care home, Marshland St James Front LtoR, Anna High (NCS Volunteer), Georgia Crown (NCS Project Manager), Robin Dunn (Head of Maintenance at Hickathrift House) ready to officially open the garden by cutting a branch (instead of a ribon), also in pic are Ceri Mills(Acting Manager back centre), other staff, residents and NCS Students involved in the project. ANL-140822-202039009

Staff at a West Norfolk care home have paid tribute to young volunteers who gave up 300 hours of their time to create a garden for the elderly.

The dedicated volunteers from the National Citizen Service (NCS) planned, fundraised and undertook work to transform a barren piece of land into a garden for residents of Hickathrift House in Marshland St James to enjoy.

The care home’s head of maintenance Robin Dunn said the team of ten, aged 16 and 17, did a “truly remarkable” job and did themselves and the care home proud.

He said: “The volunteers put more than 300 hours of effort in between them, turning a rough, overgrown piece of land into a wonderful area of interest and relaxation residents will be able to enjoy for years to come.

“There’s a public perception of what our modern youth are like, but quite frankly I would be proud to call anyone of those young people my son or daughter.”

Mr Dunn said the care home had been trying to create a garden for its elderly and mentally-ill residents, similar to one already enjoyed by its other residents, for about 18 months.

“We had a significant part of the materials needed, but didn’t have the time or labour force to dedicate to the garden,” he said.

The home was then approached by NCS, which was looking to undertake a local project, and it offered to take on the challenge last month.

Led by project manager and young volunteer Georgia Crown, with the help of Ashley Swash, the volunteers planned the garden, cleared it and planted it ready for maturing in just over three days. They also fundraised to buy a new arbour bench for residents to enjoy.

The garden was officially opened with a ceremonial cutting of a branch last Friday.

Mr Dunn said the garden was now open to more able residents, although two wheelchairs adapted for use on grassland were now needed to be able to take other residents outside.

Anyone able to help by donating an adapted wheelchair, or making a donation towards one, can contact Hickathrift House on 01945 430636.

 

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