The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is a charity that provides information, emotional support and complimentary therapy to anyone affected by cancer. Services they provide include a Cancer Survivorship Programme, a singing workshop and massage. Whether someone has been recently diagnosed or completed their treatment a while back, the Centre's help and support is open to them.
Assurity Consulting were really keen to help the Charity in whatever way we could and their garden areas seemed to be the most in need of some TLC. We asked around the office for volunteers and quickly had a team together; after the success of our last Make a Difference Day at the Springboard Project in Horsham, this opportunity was highly anticipated.
Our volunteers came from a range of departments in the company, and had varying degrees of gardening know-how. One thing they all had in common however was the drive to achieve the best results they could on the day! The team consisted of: Consultant Rhiannon, Facilities Coordinator James, HR Administrator Sharon, IT Administrator Jon, Customer Administrator Gini and Marketing Coordinator Keely.
After a few preparatory trips to Squire's Garden Centre in Crawley where we bought flowers, herbs, soil, bark and pots, on the day the six volunteers brought in their gardening equipment from home and set to work on the front and back garden.
We fixed their pond, installing a new pump, clearing out the old water and planting heathers and reeds around it. Their bare metal table and chairs were sprayed with an olive green paint to give them a new feel and some of their olive trees were repotted. A large variety of new plants including rosemary and lavender were planted around the garden and the front flower beds were weeded and bark laid. The team worked really hard, enjoying the sun (for the most part, it did get hot!) and the chance to do something therapeutic.
When the day came to an end, and enough drives to the local tip had been done, everyone was overjoyed with the impact they had made. Marilyn Drury, Centre Manager at The Olive Tree was very appreciative of all the work the team carried out. She mentioned they do have a volunteer who cuts the grass, but no one to look after the garden, so the time spent made a big difference.
It's safe to say the participants will be looking with pride at the photos of their efforts for some time to come!