Volunteer Gardeners Transform Birchwood

Skanska and Chesham in Bloom volunteers

Above: Skanska and Chesham in Bloom volunteers at Birchwood

A team of green-fingered volunteers from Skanska in Rickmansworth and Chesham in Bloom have helped transform the outdoor space at the Birchwood Scope Home in Chesham. Birchwood is a residential home that specializes in care for people with cerebral palsy.

The Friends of Birchwood have recently turned their attention to improving the land outside the home. The Friends already had amazing community support from local businesses, community gardeners and Stoney Dean School at the beginning of the year, digging a new path through the garden, making wooden furniture and raised beds for the residents and staff to use. 

But with so much land to manage, the Friends needed an extra crack team of helpers to get the gardens spick and span in time for their Open Day on the 17th June. Judith Aldridge, a Chesham resident and Skanska employee, arranged for a team of 8 colleagues to spend the day on site, mowing, strimming, weeding and gardening. This was bolstered by extra help from Chesham in Bloom gardeners.

Judith explained, “Wherever Skanska is located, we aim to make a positive contribution to our local communities. Skanska provides one day of paid leave a year for employees to carry out their chosen volunteer activity.”

Skanska volunteers hard at work
Above: Skanska volunteers mowing and strimming in the gardens

After a full day’s labour, the lawns were mown, paths were cleared and made more wheelchair accessible, hedges were trimmed and flowerbeds were weed-free. Anita Osborne is a member of the Friends and a local artist. She is heavily involved in supporting the Birchwood Painters, a group of residents who have been creating amazing art for the last 10 years. Anita said, “By transforming this rather dull and unloved space into a bright and interesting garden, it has brought pleasure to eveyone at Birchwood, especially during this amazing weather. It has also inspired our painting group with new studies for their art making.”

The Chesham in Bloom team were so impressed with the Birchwood gardens, that they brought the Royal Horticultural Society judges to see them on their tour of the town on the 3rd July for Chesham’s entry into the Thames and Chilterns in Bloom competition. Now, Birchwood, the Skanska team and Chesham in Bloom all eagerly await the judging results which will be announced in September.


Published: 3rd July 2018