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Local volunteers return for another garden makeover

30th September 2022

Residents at The Pastures, our nursing care home in Hales, Norfolk, have been loving getting out into the garden over the past year thanks to a team of Aviva volunteers who have been cleaning, weeding, painting and developing the sensory garden.

The people we support at The Pastures have a learning disability and complex physical health issues – and having a safe and welcoming place can make all the difference to their wellbeing. The ongoing partnership between The Pastures and Aviva really shows the value of great community relationships.

Alexa, the Pastures activities co-ordinator, said:

“The Pastures is made up of three bungalows, so we have limited communal space where everyone can get together if they want to. But we do have a lot of space outside. During the first lockdown, Lori our deputy service manager posted on a local Facebook page asking for any spare plants that people might like to donate. Carl, from Aviva, got in touch with a better idea, an offer of help from their community volunteering group. After some planning the group made their first visit in autumn 2021.”

Carl and his team of volunteers came again in spring of this year, working on the sensory garden and revamping more of the outside areas. Due to covid restrictions at the time, the residents had to remain socially distanced but they loved to come outside and watch and chat to the volunteers.

Alexa continued: “The Aviva team are an absolutely amazing bunch of people. Carl will visit shortly before the team are due, to discuss what we need doing, finalise arrangements and can sometimes source things for us.

“I keep in regular touch with Carl and send photos of how much use we’re getting out of the areas they have helped us with. We consider them very much an extended part of our team and a valuable part of what we do.”

Carl, supply chain manager at Aviva said

“We always thoroughly enjoy our time at The Pastures and look forward to going back. We even have volunteers asking to go there as they enjoy it so much. We also know how much it positively impacts the residents and helps the team and we love to see them using the outdoor spaces and sensory garden. It gives me a real feeling of satisfaction.”

Alexa said: “We are always looking for people to join our team at The Pastures. I always tell people that you don’t need experience to be a support worker, you need to be someone who is enthusiastic and really wants to make a difference. Those qualities can’t be taught. This job really brings out what you are passionate about, and I couldn’t recommend it enough.”