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Young people from the local community transform the gardens of a local care home

Students spent a week helping out at The Orwell care home in Wherstead, as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS).

The 10 volunteers created a sensory garden with dementia friendly colours, different smells from plants such as French and English lavender, rosemary and thyme, and various textured grasses. They hung up solar lights to illuminate the garden at night, and weeded and tidied up other parts of the garden. The home’s residents played their part by painting stones to display.

The students came up with the idea of washing cars themselves to raise money for the work.

They really enjoyed the experience, and for one of the volunteers it was the first time they had ever visited a care home.

NCS is a national scheme that gives 15 to 17 year olds the opportunity to volunteer in the community to gain personal skills and work experience. Over 400,000 people have taken part across England so far. It brings together young people from different backgrounds and helps them develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility.

The Orwell is a 38 bedded care home for older people, including those who require end of life care. It is located in the village of Wherstead, near Ipswich. The care home is managed by Priory Adult Care, a division within the renowned Priory Group, the mental healthcare specialists.

Rhona Steytler, Registered Manager at The Orwell: “We are really pleased that volunteers from the NCS came to help us. Our residents are really grateful for all the hard work they have contributed. It is really making a difference to their lives.”

Hayden Knight, Managing Director for the South East at Priory Adult Care, said: “The sensory garden looks stunning. The volunteers have done such an excellent job. I am sure that residents at The Orwell will really enjoy using these renovated areas.”