Volunteers from Enable pose after tidying up the gardens at York House

On 10th August service users and staff from York House welcomed the Enable volunteers and mentors into their garden. The whole day was spent digging, mowing, building, planting, tidying and painting, with everyone mucking in to get the job done and turn an area of turf into a blossoming sensory garden that all in the service could enjoy.

York House is a registered independent hospital whose service is provided by The Disabilities Trust in partnership with The Retreat, a specialist mental health provider. The Retreat recently donated an area of land to York House, and the Enable project helped the service users bring this area of blank canvas to life.

Enable is an innovative collaboration between the City of York Council, the charity SASH and Homebase. They offer young people who have experienced homelessness the opportunity to do voluntary work with older people around the city, who may be in need of a helping hand with gardening or decorating. Many of the volunteers are hoping to pursue a career in health and social care and were keen to meet those whose lives have been affected by acquired brain injury; to learn more about how they have overcome the challenges they have been faced with.

Service user Ben said: “It was good to get ‘green-fingered’, I enjoyed it very much. The garden looks beautiful now. It would be nice to do more projects like this.” Whilst Alice Walker, one of the Enable mentors, remarked: “It was one of the best projects we have been involved in; the volunteers really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.”

There are further plans for service users to add their own artistic flair to the sensory garden including a tactile mosaic sign, decorated tyre planters, bird houses and homemade wind-chimes which they will work on in their Arts and Crafts group and Garden group over the coming months.

If you are looking for an exciting and different way to build team morale for your company, then you could encourage and support your employees to take part in one of our corporate events. Alternatively, you could donate your own time and skills and volunteer at one of our services.