Community groups transform wasteland into dream garden


A green-fingered group of Optalis customers have been out in force with gardening gloves and hedge trimmers transforming a wasteland into a garden, which is now flourishing.

The garden at Turgis Farm, near Basingstoke, has been transformed over the years by the Conservation Group at Optalis’ Learning Disability Day Services using donations and upcycled objects.

Optalis’ Senior Support Worker, Kelly Story, said: “I’m so proud of what our customers have achieved. They’ve created something out of nothing.


“People can now sit in the garden and enjoy the beauty of nature in a quiet and special place. Turgis Court Farm is also home to ‘Growing Places’ where Optalis’ customers can grow fruit and vegetables, that they can take home to eat; as well as plants that are nurtured from seedlings, which are then made available for sale at the Acorn Community Centre in Wokingham and other local events.”


A celebration took place last week, to recognise customers for their hard work and invite parents and carers to view the garden.


As well as Optalis customers, other community groups had also contributed to the day. There was an array of crocheted tree decorations from the Berkshire Hookers, a collection of pebbles from Wokingham Rocks and 36 cakes generously donated by a Wokingham resident.

Family members, carers, customers, colleagues and the original inspiration for the Conservation Group, David Lonsdale attended the day.

Conservation is just one of the many themed activities on offer in Learning Disabilities Day Services managed by social care provider Optalis.  They offer a whole range of activities including Drama, IT skills, Horticultural therapy, Community Fundraising and much more, including specialised activities for individuals with complex needs in and around Berkshire.



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