Garden delight as residents brighten up environment

RESIDENTS at sheltered accommodation in Corringham are enjoying a refurbished garden after the grandson of a resident was inspired to do something to smarten the place up.
Grant Rivers was disappointed with the condition of the centerpiece garden at Freeman Court, so he contacted firms to help with a renovation scheme – and residents themselves got stuck into the project themselves. Several hours of hard work were translated into a smart and attractive new garden.
Grant, whose grandmother Doreen King lives at the complex, says: “I wanted to make a wasted bit of garden into a pleasant centrepiece for the elderly residents to look out on to from their window.
“It had been discussed for some time by residents that they would like the garden done but it’s never been attempted properly.
“In January 2018 I decided to send out a few emails to various companies to enquire about any donations or help and advice on how I could carry out such a task.
“Various companies got back to us including Homebase in Pitsea (previously known as Bunnings) & The RHS Hyde Hall in Chelmsford to name a few. We had various donations that came in which included seeds, flowers and gift vouchers to spend in store.
“We wanted all year round interest & also wanted to include hand-made crafts in the garden for all to enjoy.
“I’m aware loneliness is something many people feel as they get older and felt it was a way to encourage residents to socialise, give them a bit of self-esteem (by showcasing their creations in the garden) and also giving them something to enjoy for the rest of the summer season and for many years to come.
“I hope residents will continue to add to the garden with ornaments, and plants as they take ownership for their garden.
“The event was supposed to last three hours but everyone enjoyed themselves so much, they ended up staying out all day.
“It was a fantastic day and a good time was had by all, so much so we are planning organising something similar in the near future.”