Earlier in the year, LinkAge Bristol was approached by Duncan Hensman, Business Development Manager at Direct Line Group, whose team kindly wanted to make a difference in the local community.
Direct Line Group’s 90 Minute Makeover Project was an opportunity for staff to spend a day giving back to the community and local people. LinkAge and St Monica Trust’s Befriending Scheme was fitting for the project, as a lot of the older people involved have limited mobility and so would really benefit from having support in making over their gardens. Soon LinkAge had four older people eagerly waiting to have their gardens tended to.
On Wednesday 13th July the team first worked their magic on Jill’s garden, tending to her shrub border, replacing shrubs and topping up soil. Next was Gill’s garden, which had been untouched for over three years. Removing weeds and potting plants, the garden was soon full of life. The team then saw Wilf, whose 8ft hedge and plants needed a good tidying up. By the end of the 90 minutes Wilf had a beautiful view of blooming flowers that he could enjoy from his back door. The final garden of the day belonged to Marion, whose pots could soon be seen full of bright and colourful plants.
One of the older people Gill said, “It was absolutely amazing. They were so kind and just lovely people, they even brought me some flowers, no one has done that for me before. I couldn’t believe that they found a fossil that I’ve been looking for forever, after years I can finally give it to my grandson.”
Staff involved in the project also got a lot from the day with the team saying how rewarding the day was and how proud they felt that they have given something back to the community. One team member Fotoula went on to say” “I think what I enjoyed the most was uncovering gardens that the older people had clearly created and maintained with love and care when they were fit and able to do so. For me it felt like we had left them with the garden they'd enjoyed in the past.”
LinkAge would like to thank Direct Line for their hard work on making this project a huge success. Lucy Saunders, LinkAge’s Business Development Manager said “We are so grateful to the staff at Direct Line Group for their wonderful support with this project. We have had some really lovely feedback from the older people that benefitted and it meant so much to them that volunteers from Direct Line Group gave up their time to help them”.