Wessex Electricals & Wessex Property Care launched their new social value initiative this week in Salisbury.
Working with long standing client Wiltshire Council, the Wessex teams switched out their wires and fuses for spades and forks to reinvigorate the large communal gardens at Graham House in Culver Court, Salisbury.
Graham House is located in the centre of Salisbury, has 18 sheltered housing apartments and has a large garden for all the residents to enjoy. However, in recent years, and coupled with the Covid pandemic the gardens have become overgrown and unloved. Many of the tenants are not physically able to maintain the garden however it provides a much needed social outside space.
The Wessex teams recently undertook the lighting and heating upgrade to the properties and noticed that the gardens needed work so approached Resident Engagement Officer Eamon McClelland.
Stuart Fisher, Managing Director said “The team have got to know the residents over the years and having worked on the interior electrical work, wanted to help out with the gardens so that the residents could benefit from the outdoor space too. We have worked with Wiltshire Council for some time, but most of our charitable efforts have been within our realm of expertise i.e. electricals and interior works, it was a welcome surprise when we offered to help with something outside the norm of our day to day job!”
The team set about clearing 18 foot brambles and dead wood which had enveloped the garden, as well as weeding and restoring the flowerbeds with new plants. It was then on to clearing and rebalancing the patio and access areas, replacing the communal benches and sweeping and tidying up the communal areas.
Eamon McClelland commented “It is great to see the team hard at work in the garden; we are used to seeing them with their head in a fuse box or up a ladder. We are really grateful; we know this isn’t their normal work and to give up their time to volunteer and give back to the residents is hugely welcomed. The residents have enjoyed watching the transformation and been giving advice on what is a weed and what isn’t!”
Resident Phil, once a keen gardener, came to oversee proceedings including the planting out of his beloved apple tree. He said “It’s nice to have them here helping out, I can see where I am going on the patio now and don’t worry about falling over anymore. There is so much light without the brambles and we have another apple tree to bring on. I am really pleased; we can come out here and enjoy it more now.”
This project is the first in a series of Wessex’ charitable efforts with the aim of making outside spaces more accessible and more enjoyable for Housing Association residents.