Green-fingered volunteers transform Turnchapel gardens

Green-fingered volunteers

Green-fingered volunteers have been busy transforming the gardens at our specialist unit.

Ten volunteers from Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest generously gave their time and skills to clearing out the overgrown gardens at Turnchapel ahead of our new transformation works that will be commencing soon.

The team, who are employed by Plymouth City Council, operate across Plymouth, Dartmoor National Park and the South Hams, providing funding and support to plant trees that will help with biodiversity loss, capture carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Giving back to the city

Project Manager for Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest, Peter Hawking-Sach said:

“We wanted to give back to the city. St Luke’s is a huge part of the fabric of the city and we really admire the work that you do and wanted to support it. As employees of Plymouth City Council we are able to provide a volunteering opportunity to ourselves and the teams every year so we chose St Luke’s this year.

“We knew that St Luke’s had some garden requirements and some work we could get practical with and use our skills and our knowledge to help out.”

Clearing the way

The team started their morning by dismantling the rotten decking and pergola that was blocking the beautiful scenic view of The Sound. They pulled out all the footings and decking and cleared the paths to make way for the new groundworks that will go in in preparation for the upcoming transformation works to begin.

Sanctuary at St Luke’s

Peter continued: “I have been amazed by how much of a sanctuary the garden is for patients and visitors. It feels like such a safe and supportive environment with such beautiful natural surroundings. It’s opened my eyes to the service and support that St Luke’s provides and that’s been a really positive thing for me personally.”

A remarkable difference

The volunteers were led by St Luke’s maintenance assistant Dave Cantin and volunteer gardener John who volunteers every Tuesday.

Dave said: “Thank you to all the team at Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest for their hard work and time. The group worked with speed and efficiency in clearing the old decking area in preparation for the transformation works to begin in the gardens at Turnchapel. The difference they made in just a day is remarkable, allowing our patients and visitors the chance to enjoy the beautiful surroundings while visiting the gardens.”

A rewarding experience

For Peter and the team, the morning of volunteering was an eye-opening, yet collaborative experience.

Peter said: “We spent the whole morning talking about how rewarding the experience was, not only working with St Luke’s, being in the beautiful surroundings and knowing that we can make a difference, but also for us as a team it has been really rewarding, getting out of our normal day to day routine and being able to pitch in together, working on different tasks and being able to enjoy each other’s company while knowing we’re making a bit of a difference.”

Corporate volunteering for St Luke’s

Have you considered volunteering for St Luke’s as a company or team? Employer supported volunteering can bring tangible benefits to companies who choose to work with us. The community-spirited businesses who volunteer with us don’t just raise their profile and boost their bottom line, they enable their staff to have enriching experiences, too, boosting motivation. To find out more about Corporate Volunteering opportunities with St Luke’s click here.

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