Thames Valley Housing is changing the landscape in Woking, two gardens at a time

Over 50 volunteers from seven organisations worked together in Woking to create two unique gardens for the local community.

Thames Valley Housing (TVH) organised the Garden Blitz project to rejuvenate the garden spaces of Westfield Primary School in Woking, and the Alzheimer’s Society in West Byfleet. Volunteers created a wildlife garden and an outdoor classroom for Westfield Primary School pupils, and a sensory garden for the service users at the Alzheimer’s Society centre. The project attracted volunteers from multiple organisations, including Thames Valley Housing, Genesis Housing Association, Axis Europe, Woking Borough Council, and LinkAble.

The landscaping for both gardens was done by the pupils and service users themselves, during a joint Design Session. Buffy Harris-Jones, Project Officer for The Conservation Volunteers, was responsible for turning their vision into reality. She said: “It was amazing to see some of the younger pupils make such a real connection with the service users from the Alzheimer’s Society. Their ideas informed a lot of the things we did with the gardens”.

Barry Malki, Community Investment Manager at TVH, developed the project as part of their community work in Woking. He commented: “The school, which is right on the doorstep of one of our major developments in Woking, had expressed an interest in having a wildlife garden and an outdoor classroom, but couldn’t do it due to the cost. The Alzheimer’s Society centre was having a similar issue with the sensory garden that they wanted for their service users. By drawing in funding and using our network of contacts to attract skilled volunteers, we were able to help both organisations deliver their projects”.

Involvement through corporate volunteering schemes was a key factor to the success of the project. Barry Malki added: “Although it was hard, physical labour, and very far removed from their day-to-day working environment, the atmosphere and the attitude of the volunteers was brilliant”.

This project is funded by Thames Valley Housing and the AXIS Foundation, and volunteering was coordinated by the Conservation Volunteers Berkshire.

 

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Pictures posted on Twitter by the volunteers, using #Gardenblitz

Editors notes

Contact notes

If you would like more information on this project, please contact Anastasia Terzoglou, Communications Officer on 0203 819 0450 or email anastasia_terzoglou@tvha.co.uk

You can find out more about TVH by visiting www.tvha.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @ThamesValleyHA.

 

About Thames Valley Housing Association:

Thames Valley Housing is based in Twickenham, West London and delivers housing for a wide range of people. Founded in 1966, the association manages and administers over 15,000 properties in London, Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex. Thames Valley Housing aims to meet the aspirations of all our customers and residents, helping them to get the home they want or need at the outset, providing further opportunities to move or buy later should they wish.  It provides affordable rented homes, shared ownership, and key worker accommodation, including the staff accommodation for eight NHS Trusts.

In order to generate a profit to help fund our social purpose, we also have a market rent business called Fizzy Living; and a joint venture to build housing for sale, called Opal.

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