Garden transformed in a day

In September we welcomed a team of seven volunteers from Johnson & Johnson Ltd in Maidenhead who gave up their day to clear a garden (actually more like a jungle!) at one of our Padstones’ properties.

J&J-team

Companies are seeking opportunities to give something back to their community. Johnson & Johnson are no different, in fact it’s in their make-up.

Here’s what their head of CSR, Melissa said about volunteering: “As employees of Johnson & Johnson Ltd, our Credo highlights that we ‘are responsible to the communities in which we live and work’ and we are given up to 5 days per year for volunteering to help fulfil this responsibility. We reached out to Connection Support due to its links to Burnham in Buckinghamshire, which is very close to our Maidenhead office. It’s great to be able to help within our local community and getting to work on a project for the benefit of young people of a similar age to themselves was a great fit for the team of graduate employees who volunteered.”

Reclaiming our lost garden

Patio_before-after

The garden was completely hidden under a web of weeds; we had no idea what we were standing on and what all the lumps and bumps were!

As we ripped at the weeds, we not only discovered that the garden had four tiers, but we also uncovered patio tables and chairs, a hoover, huge flower pots, a voluptuous statue, a lizard and a crisp packet from 2008! By the end of the day the garden was completely cleared and looked fantastic, it felt like such an achievement!

Faye at Johnson & Johnson

 

Dedicated to the end result!

Team member, Gracie B told us: “Seeing the change from the overgrown wilderness to the beautiful garden was incredible. Whilst we worked, I didn’t appreciate how far we’d come but comparing the before and after pictures gave me such a great sense of achievement and pride at how much we achieved in the short period of time. The dedication of the team was illustrated in Matt’s jumping in the skip to make room for the debris, despite several brambles and spiders, and the fact we had to drag Faye away from her pruning at the end of the day.”

Padstones' garden

Garden, what garden? It was hidden by overgrown ivy and bushes. There was also some hidden ‘treasure’ underneath the Sleeping Beauty like bramble.

Team building

Matt (who has recently rejoined the team as a graduate having just completing his final year at university) explained his takeaways from the day: “During my first week of finding my feet, the day provided the perfect opportunity to meet the everyone outside the office environment. It made me feel really comfortable to be joining a new team. No one knew the scale of what we were taking on but it was a great team-building challenge!”

Thanks for making a difference

Debbie, Padstones Team Leader was thrilled with the newly discovered garden: 

“The young people living here will really benefit from having a quiet outside space where they can come and reflect. We now have an alternative quiet place to hold keyworks with residents, it’s wonderful!

Having access to a garden is beneficial in allowing our residents a quiet outside space to relax by themselves or with friends getting away from the sometimes constant stress and headache their daily lives can be filled with. A garden environment has also been shown to improve your health, both physically and psychologically so thank you so much!”

A big THANK YOU to the team at Johnson & Johnson!

Johnson & Johnson team CSR

A bit about Padstones support to young people in Bucks

  • We offer support with independent living skills, applying for benefits, completing forms, budgeting & debt advice, financial advice, registering with GP, dentist, and opticians.
  • We provide emotional support to residents and facilitate links to outside agencies if/when required.
  • We support and prepare residents for move-on and resettlement from the start of them becoming residents.
  • We offer accommodation and support to young people aged 16 – 25 in need, providing a safe and secure environment, where residents can develop their potential and move towards more independent living.
  • We closely monitor residents’ behaviour by picking up early warning signs to prevent substance use or misuse, a decline in mental health, safeguarding and CSE concerns, radicalization.
  • We work with other agencies involved in the residents care.

If you’d like to give back to your local community, perhaps benefit from a team day please get in touch:

Email: volunteers@connectionsupport.org.uk

Tel: 01865 711267 for Oxfordshire

Tel: 01296 484322 for Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes

Photo credits: With thanks to our volunteer, Joseph Loudon.