Ordinarily, the insurance and social care worlds would work together on insurance cover.

However, on Thursday 13th June we had the pleasure of working alongside 9 volunteers from Aviva in the gardens at The Grange.The Grange has the huge benefit of 7 Acres of beautiful gardens, keeping on top of the maintenance of the gardens is a huge challenge.  When we were approached about being host to a team of volunteers as part of their Corporate Responsibility Programme we jumped at the chance of having all hands on deck!

The day was planned with volunteers working within various areas of the gardens alongside staff and people we support with additional help from a team member from Reuthe’s.

David Skinn said:

What a fantastic day for a worthy cause and a great team event to help the residents.

Team 1

Built a huge raised bed which was donated by Friends of Benenden Grange, this was like giant lego and posed a few challenges but the end result is sensational.  The raised bed will be developed as part of the sensory garden and provides accessible opportunities for individuals with mobility difficulties to help in the gardens.

 Team 2

This team got creative and turned a pallet in to a fabulous edible garden.  The woodwork skills were put to the test and the results were triumphant!  The herbs will help to enhance the skills of people working within the kitchen but also support our development of a sensory garden for the people who live at The Grange.

Team 3

This team had the job of tidying up the flowerbeds around the building, it’s a shame that we didn’t get a before photograph as they worked really hard and the results are brilliant.

Team 4

The toughest of the jobs (can you guess what group I was in?), this group had the task of clearing out brambles which were taking over some of the beautiful Rhododendrons in the gardens.  Again, we missed the opportunity for the before photographs but as a result of the hard work, we have found plants we didn’t even know were there!  There aren’t many pictures because we were engulfed in brambles!

Taking a ‘break’

We thought that our teams had worked so hard that they needed a rest, so we arranged an hour of keep fit!  Kim who comes to The Grange every week led the group of volunteers and people we support to get their heart rates up.  Watching them dance along to ‘Let’s Twist Again’ was particularly entertaining!


Finally, after all the hard work we all enjoyed a BBQ together with some sensational salads put together by staff member Tracy and a lovely speech by Gavin to thank the volunteers.

Sarah, our CEO said:

Days like this reach far beyond the achievements of the physical work completed.

This small gesture raised the profile of the valuable contribution that people with disabilities bring to our communities, it brings an increased sense of pride and community to our teams and provides the people we support with important opportunities and interactions.

We are extremely thankful to the volunteers for giving their time to help us on our journey in achieving our vision of enriched, fulfilled and happy lives for the people we support.