Tag Archive Uttlesford

ByRichard Corby

Great demand for Green Matters community gardening service

When we launched our gardening service for disadvantaged, disabled and vulnerable people in Uttlesford we could only dream of the levels of demand we are experiencing

Through the deployment of teams of locally sourced volunteers, lead by our Horticultural expert Mark Ropkins, gardens are fully or partially reclaimed, in order to improve local resident’s health and wellbeing and to reduce the risk of trips and falls

When we developed the proposal for Green Matters and took it to potential funders and partners, we thought our first year target of completing 80 gardens was ambitious but achievable.  Less than five months into the project and we have already received 55 referrals from across the district, with more coming in to the office each day.

If you know a person whose garden is a cause for worry, or they feel unsafe stepping out of the back door due to overgrown paths and trip hazards, please get in touch.   You can make a referral through Uttlesford Frontline or if you would like to discuss an application for support you can call Richard or Jacqui at the CVS Uttlesford office on 01371 878400.

Some examples of people we have already helped:

  • A retired married couple where the wife is in need of long-term care. We cut the front lawn and undertook pruning and weeding.  The garden had got out of hand as the husband busy caring for his wife. We have returned the garden to a manageable condition and the gentleman is now happy to continue the work himself.
  • A retired lady living alone.  We have reduced the size of her shrubs as they had become large and unmanageable.  We removed a dangerous branch from one of her trees, as it was split and at risk of falling on the resident.
  • A retired lady living alone.   Her hedges were overgrown and this, together with two small trees, were blocking the light coming in to her house.   We removed the trees and cut back the hedges to open up the property.
  • A gentleman affected by Multiple Sclerosis who was waiting for an operation.  He lives alone and used to love his garden, with a particular fondness for fuchsias.  We cut back the shrubs, weeded and cleared his pathways to improve his access.   This will help him to get around the garden safely when he comes home from hospital.   He is now able to care for fuchsias  in baskets that he doesn’t have to lean down to and can easily keep them watered himself.

We need your help

Our team will visit gardens and help to restore some control over them, but we need the help and support of neighbours and neighbourhoods to keep on top of the gardens in the areas we are working.  If you are able to volunteer and hour or two a week to help a neighbour or person in need stay on top of their garden then please get in touch.

If you are waiting for a visit

If you have been referred and are awaiting an initial visit, we will get to you as soon as we can.    We try to visit a number of properties in the same area on the same day, so may take a week or two getting to you.   We will however be in touch to confirm an appointment for the first visit and advise you of when we expect to start your garden.   Lead time is currently around six weeks.

If you would like to discuss your upcoming visit or need to change the appointment please call Richard or Jacqui on 01371 878400.   We’ll be pleased to help.