Two days work by Scottish Water staff has made the community garden at Lanark Lodge, Duns, accessible for its day care centre users.
For two years now Scottish Water has been running a volunteering programme, allowing employees to take up to two days leave to do volunteer work and 20 of them decided to set to in the grounds of Lanark Lodge.
Over the two days they constructed paths in the Scottish Borders Council owned property and now the adults with learning difficulties who attend the day care centre can finally access all areas of the garden - something that has been almost impossible for those dependent on a wheelchair.
Lanark Lodge care assistant Barbara Bilsland said: “I cannot emphasise enough what a difference the paths will make to everyone at the centre. It will be the first time for many of the people to see the bottom of the garden and view the building from afar.
“It’s such a lovely space with the backdrop of trees and before it was just not suitable for purpose and now everyone will benefit. Simple things like listening to the birds or just getting a little fresh air will now be possible for everyone.
“We wouldn’t have been able to consider having a community garden without the paths and the support of Scottish Water.”
Over the last year more than 500 Scottish Water employees have taken part in the volunteering programme. The aim is to develop skills and teamwork, and strengthening relationships with their local communities as well as helping staff to improve their understanding of the different needs of people in the communities they serve.
Fiona Burley, Scottish Water’s volunteering programme co-ordinator, said:“There is a huge amount of passion within Scottish Water for volunteering and it’s a great way for our employees to get involved in their local communities
I am delighted that we have been able to help Lanark Lodge and help out in a practical way and that residents and visitors will be able to use these paths for a long time to come.
“Our employees thoroughly enjoyed the experience of helping out and feedback from the Lodge has been very positive.
“Our volunteering programme was launched in 2011. It allows every employee up to two days of leave to volunteer and help in the community. Since its launch, over 1,200 employees have helped non profit making organisations with practical tasks they normally couldn’t manage themselves.”