National Citizen Service students praised for amazing transformation of Hartlepool care home's garden

Green-fingered teenagers completed a Ground Force-style makeover of a Hartlepool care home’s garden.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 11:45 am
National Citizen Service students improve the garden at Charlotte Grange Care Home. Student Olivia Slater with resident Joe Lakey.

A group of National Citizen Service (NCS) young people spent a week transforming the garden at Charlotte Grange, in Flaxton Street, to make it much more inviting for residents.

They added a host of new features including seating, sensory plants and flowers, bird feeders, a pond, herb garden and spruced up the paths and hedges.

Staff say it will make a big difference to residents’ enjoyment of the garden.

The new look garden at Charlotte Grange Care Home

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Sixteen school leavers, all from the Hartlepool area, took part in the project as part of the NCS personal development scheme.

Aaron Gray, 16, from Blackhall, said: “Everything was just flat grass and there was just one raised flower bed, a bird feeder and two broken benches.

“We took out all the moss from all the paths, added flowers; some for the smell and some for how they look, and generally made everything fresh again.

“We introduced different bird feeders so more birds come into the garden now and the residents can sit and watch them.

National Citizens Service students improved the garden at Charlotte Grange Care Home for residents.

“We asked residents what they wanted.”

The team raised money from sponsored walks and a dip in the Tees and other activities. And numerous local businesses supported them with free goods for the garden or gave them great deals.

Resident and keen gardener Joe Lakey, who worked closely with the young people, said: “They have made a brilliant job of it. I gave them a hand now and again but they did all the work.”

Kirsty McMullen, Charlotte Grange’s activities co-ordinator, added: “The garden wasn’t getting used and there was no colour to it.

“We wanted some sensory items to entice the residents to come out. It looks a lot more colourful now.”

NCS team leader Rebecca Moy oversaw the project. She said: “As well as helping the elderly we wanted to challenge stereotypes around young people and show they can do good things for the community.

“They have all been great. It has been a pleasure.”

With money they had left over, the young people threw a 1920s theme tea party for the residents.