Volunteers dig in and spruce up day centre
5:30am Friday 29th August 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
USERS of a centre for adults with disabilities are loving it after McDonald’s and Swindon Garden Centre spruced up an outdoor learning area.
Managers from eight of the fast food company’s regional restaurants teamed up with staff from the garden centre to put in a new pathway, a pond, benches and plants at OK4U on Tuesday.
Staff and those who benefit from the day centre, in Upham Road, were delighted with the improvements.
Support assistant Sue Nettleingham, who runs a nature and wildlife programme with John Lawrence, said: “They were here for a good part of the day and there’s been quite a transformation to the garden. The sessions we run for those with physical and learning disabilities improve the participants’ social awareness, exercise and education skills.
“One of the benefits of these regular sessions is that every time we come out there is something different to see. This is thanks to the weather conditions outside and wildlife that comes to the site. On top of these benefits everybody also has a lot of fun taking part.”
There are seven members of Sue and John’s nature group and they will be working to put their own plants in one of the donated planters.
A group of 12 volunteers put the new items in OK4U’s garden.
Paul Booth, McDonald’s franchisee, said: “It was inspiring to see everyone working together to improve OK4U, which is a great centre that provides much needed support to the local community. I’m proud of the difference the team has made to the outside space and would like to thank my management team and the Swindon Garden Centre for setting a great example of what can be achieved if we all pull together.”
Duncan Appleford, from OK4U, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the event. It’s great to see the enthusiasm of the staff and the satisfaction that they get from helping their local community while having a bit of fun.”
in the process. I’d also like to personally thank Swindon Garden Centre, IH Maintenance and Travis Perkins for their support in kindly donating items on the day, ensuring it was a total success.”