[caption id="attachment_6949" align="alignright" width="225"] Message in the guest book[/caption]
27th September saw all the current and ex-participants of the Smiths News Graduate Scheme Link-Up to create raised flower beds and herb gardens for the Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis.
[caption id="attachment_6947" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Before... ... and After[/caption]
This is a local charity funded wholly by donations and fundraising and has been set up to provide alternative therapies to patients with chronic neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Cerebral Palsy.
They offer oxygen therapy treatments, physiotherapy, seated exercise classes for those with restricted movement, counselling services and much more. Many of the visitors to the Swindon Therapy Centre are not able to get out of their house unaided and as such they rely on a community transport service to bring them to the Centre.
The Centre provides them with an environment where they can relax, meet like-minded people with similar disabilities and benefit from some short-term improvements to their ongoing health struggles.
The team of eight - Ken Ingham, Anya Perry, Emma Allan, Fern Sandercock, Emma Wilkinson, Matt Watson, Chloe Richards, and Sam Lucas - spent the entire day at the Centre.
[gallery type="slideshow" ids="6954,6958,6960,6961,6956,6971,6959,6968,6969,6967,6953,6957,6955,6970,6963,6964,6962,6965,6966,6972"]
They dug out and constructed raised flower beds to form part of a relaxation area for the users of the Centre and also planted shrubs and herbs to provide an attractive space. This will also give some of the Centre users the opportunity to get involved with some light gardening activities as a means to keep active within the constraints of their disability.
The results have gone down very well with the Centre, with the team receiving messages of thanks on the Centre's Facebook page and via several emails...
- Firstly, a general thank you:
"We couldn't be happier with our new front garden done for us today by Matt Watson, Ken Ingham, Sam Lucas, Chloe Richards, Emma Allan, Emma Wilkinson, Fern Sandercock and Anya Perry from Smiths News. It's such a lovely space turned from bare patio slabs into an enclosed little garden with flowers and herbs. THANK YOU :) :)"
- From the Therapy Centre's Facebook album of the day:
"Tremendous thanks to Matt Watson, Ken Ingham, Sam Lucas, Chloe Richards, Emma Allan, Emma Wilkinson, Fern Sandercock, and Anya Perry from Smiths News who spent a day digging, planting, building and painting to give us this amazing lovely front area.
Where we previously only had a couple of benches on a patio square we now have a charming enclosed space complete with bird feeder, flower bed and herb garden. They worked really hard all day to produce this for us and we hope they pop by again soon as we definitely owe them some drinks and cakes at least!
We hope all our members and visitors enjoy the garden for a long time to come :)"
"...thank you so much for doing our front garden, it looks absolutely great. I have had lots of lovely comments from people this week so will you please pass on my thanks to your team for doing such a fantastic job."
"Thank you and the team so much for everything Friday.
It’s been really nice for everyone here to come in for their usual Monday and be greeted with such a lovely front area.
I’ve got ambitious plans to see if we can do some form of winter event out there, perhaps some winter cooking using the herbs.. as its such a nice area. We’ll see about it.
The pictures that I took are up on our facebook [see specific links above - Ed] and there’s a bit going in our newsletter about the task as well."
Thanks to Sam Lucas for the above report and for sending lots of photos, which tell the story of the day so well.