The gardens at The New Deanery residential care homes in Braintree have bloomed and come to life, thanks to a make-over from two groups of young volunteers.
The young people, aged 15-17, raised more than £360 to fund the garden improvements as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) – a four-week confidence-building initiative organised and delivered by Essex County Council Youth Commissioning Services.
As part of the programme, each group (Wave) had to choose and plan a project, and then raise the money required for it to be a success.
Wave 3 groups F & G decided to undertake a garden project for Sonnet Care Homes, who own The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court, and raised funds by making and selling cakes in the George Yard Shopping Centre and at a coffee morning at St Michael’s Church, Braintree.
They cleared the gardens at the care homes, varnished the wooden flower beds and planted beautiful new flowers for residents to appreciate, which were purchased using the money raised from cake sales.
To celebrate their achievement and to officially ‘open’ the gardens, the young volunteers organised a tea party for the residents which was enjoyed by everyone.
Julia Clinton, Chief Executive of Sonnet Care Homes, said: “We were delighted that this group of exceptional young people chose to work with our care home.
“They worked so hard and the results are amazing. Our residents loved their energy and enthusiasm, and the tea party really did make a fabulous end to the week.
“We cannot thank them enough, they really are a credit to the local community.”
Cat MacKay, District Youth and Community Commissioner (Uttlesford District) Youth Service for Essex County Council, said: “We are extremely grateful to Sonnet Care Homes for allowing our lovely young people to undertake their NCS project at the care homes.
“The volunteers are really proud of their achievement and enjoyed helping out. They have new skills to take away with them and many fond memories. The group was led by Sarah and Emily who were both amazing and supported the young people every step of the way to help them reach their potential.”
Picture caption: Blooming lovely: Youngsters mark the end of their NCS project in the gardens they transformed at The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court care homes in Braintree