Putting come LOL back into peoples lives means no one is left behind so Magna Vitae Swimming club in Horncastle got a large raised bed with an elevated section for wheelchair users to access.
Initially we met with the management of Magna Vitae and the Horncastle Day centre in order to discuss their expectations and requirements and to timetable for the days of the practical sessions delivery. The initial consultation with the management of the day centre identified both their needs and the diverse range of abilities to ensure inclusion and rewards for all.
Horncastle Day Centre wanted an elevated raised bed that was similar to a table top where people in wheelchairs could get close to the plants.
The day centre clients sawed the posts to size, sanded them down and painted them. They then dug the post holes using soil augers, post holers and spades. These were then concreted into position. A timber frame was bolted to the upright posts and it was lined with a damp proof membrane and topped with topsoil ready for planting.
We gave the day centre participants propagators and vegetable seeds so that they can germinate their own seed for planting in the elevated raised beds.
The project became 6 morning or afternoon sessions, with at least two hours of physical activity to engage the day centre clients with gardening activity sessions. It was important to us that we talked to the day centre management to develop a bespoke plan that was exactly what they wanted.
What did we learn
How to work together as a team for the benefit of the community, using their own resilience, confidence and determination, seeing physical and mental divergence as a blessing rather than disabilities.
The workforce has been upskilled and safety training accessed, learning woodworking, horticultural, and risk assessment prior to learning the safe system of work for hand tools such as soil auger, post holer, sawing, spades, wheelbarrows, sprayers and potting tools.