Prince’s Trust volunteers and adults with learning difficulties who worked together to create a garden haven for residents at a Melton Mowbray care home have been nominated for a prestigious national award.
The volunteers from The Prince’s Trust Melton Team 6 decided they could help Mar Lodge, in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, after colleagues from Team 6 had completed a project on the home’s conservatory.
The volunteers and service users led by resident Alan Bottomley, raised money and sourced materials to rejuvenate the rear garden at Mar Lodge.
The project has now been shortlisted for a Prince’s Trust national award, which recognises the great work that young people around the country carry out to support their communities.
The partnership has also provided an employment opportunity for one of the young Prince’s Trust volunteers. Jennifer Blatherwick’s outstanding commitment to working with people with a learning disability was recognised by Mar Lodge’s manager Mark Lilley and she secured a role as a support worker at Mar Lodge who are supporting her to complete a Level 2 diploma in Health and Social Care.
Mark Lilley, Manager of Mar Lodge, which is owned by Craegmoor, part of the Priory Group of Companies, said: “To discover and appoint such an enthusiastic and dedicated colleague as Jennifer has been a fantastic element of the partnership with the Prince’s Trust.”
Mark added: “It was not a simple job to renovate the garden but everyone got stuck in, helping to plant flowers, vegetables and fruit and the result is fabulous.
“We are very proud of our relationship with the Prince’s Trust, which has had such a positive effect on the lives of the service users. We are all absolutely delighted that the garden scheme has been recognised nationally.”
Laura Henderson, Prince’s Trust Team Leader said: “Our young people have gained a lot from working at Mar Lodge and firm friendships have been forged. This was a very positive experience for everyone involved and we are keen to continue with the partnership.”
The award ceremony takes place in London on 12th March and patron of the Prince’s Trust, Prince Charles is expected to attend.
Mar Lodge supports adults with learning difficulties who need help to develop life and social skills with the aim of them becoming as independent as possible. Services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team focusing on the needs of the individual.
The home aims to encourage individuals and families to actively participate in the planning of support and also works closely with local services such as the community learning disability team, community nurses, psychologists, speech therapists, local health centres, dental, chiropody and other health care services.