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Gardening appeal spreads the joy of summer

raised garden bedI started working at a supported living service in south London, about a year ago. I quickly discovered that Joseph, one of the tenants, shared my passion for gardening.

We applied to Brandon’s Dream Fund for some money to install a raised garden bed to make it easier for everyone to get involved. We were so happy when we received the funding and wasted no time in having the raised planter built.

Next, we planned a trip to our local garden centre to buy plants, tools, and equipment. However, the coronavirus pandemic put the country into lockdown and as Joseph was being shielded, our plans had to change.

A touching response

Joseph and Ricky enjoying their gardenI’d spoken to a few of my friends about how an outside space is so important to the people we support at this difficult time. Someone suggested that I put out an appeal on my personal Facebook page, to see if anybody had any spare equipment we could use.

The response was truly amazing! I was touched by people’s generosity. A local community organisation gave us tools, including a fork, spade, and loppers. My friends donated plants, seeds, and compost, and I salvaged three wooden crates from a skip which my neighbour kindly dropped off in his van. In addition, we raised an amazing £180 in donations from well-wishers.

Buying, planting, and excitedly waiting

Joseph protects the strawberries with nettingWe ordered a variety of flower and vegetable plants from a local garden centre. We also managed to buy two hanging baskets, two window boxes, a barbecue, and some folding chairs.

Joseph and Ricky enjoyed helping with the project and the garden has been transformed. The flowers have made the garden spring to life with beautiful colours and scents. I know we bought petunias, but I can’t remember the other names. Flowers are Joseph’s favourite – I’m more of a veg grower.

In the raised planter, lots of delicious produce has started to grow, including chillies, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, and strawberries – which we had to protect with netting to stop the squirrels from eating them. We’re now excitedly awaiting our first harvest!

Thank you

I’m so grateful for the kindness and love that I received with this project. The tenants love doing the garden and water all the plants, every day. They get fresh air and exercise whilst doing it, and you can really see the positive impact on their wellbeing. Thank you everyone!

Louise Orrill
Support Worker

Help make more dreams become reality

This wellbeing project began with the award of a small grant from the Dream Fund. It is 100% funded by our supporters, and people supported by Brandon, can apply for money to help them achieve their dreams and ambitions.

Could you help to make more dreams come true? Find out more on the Brandon Dream Fund page.