PLYMOUTH GARDENING PROJECT SUPPORTS ELDERLY IN COMMUNITY
1st November 2017
Sunday 15 October was a busy day for the congregation of Plymouth church. We gathered at our local Age UK Day Care and Dementia Centre at 10:00 am tasked with renovating the garden and making it more accessible for its elderly visitors.
Age UK (or Age Concern) is a registered charity which provides services, activities and events for the elderly and was established in Plymouth in 1942. Elspeth Sitters, had the vision and drive to help alleviate the distress brought about by loneliness and deprivation experienced by older people in war-torn Plymouth. Her legacy is still evident in the city today improving older people's quality of life through the promotion of choice, opportunity and independence.
Planning of the project started in spring (2017) and there were a few challenges along the way. The biggest obstacle was finding a sponsor to donate the wood needed to construct several raised flower beds allowing for easier maintenance and accessibility for those in wheelchairs. Unfortunately, the sponsor dropped out at the last minute, but with a lot of prayer and organisation the project was still able to go ahead.
The project was organised by Pastor Clifford Herman with the expertise of Ray Hall and Jennie Hall of Ray Hall Landscape and Ground Maintenance Ltd. Before the work could begin wood was delivered to the site, along with topsoil, compost and plants. The volunteers were very enthusiastic and made light work of clearing the garden of the old, worn out plants and shrubs. Then building and planting began. Some worked for a few hours whilst others stayed until the end (6:00 pm).
The following Sunday Pastor Herman, Matthew and Jennie returned to the garden to do a few finishing touches which included pressure washing the paved pathways. This made a big difference and the Age UK staff were thrilled with the end result.
This year the Plymouth church has put special emphasis on community support and d