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Brett 110 - Volunteering for Porchlight

Two teams from Robert Brett House spend two days helping to build a sensory garden in Margate for Porchlight - Kent’s largest charity helping homeless and vulnerable people.

As well as providing both temporary and longer-term accommodation Porchlight also provide a jobs, education and training service, to help people gain employment and sort out their finances. They also provide mental health support for those in need. They rely heavily on volunteers and help over 7000 individuals and families across the county each year.

The aim was to create a sensory garden for residents at their facility in Margate. Old School Lodge is in the centre of Margate and providing an outside space where residents can relax is important in the middle of a large town.

Team one on the first day – Sam Alexander, Paul Bishop, Will Drake, James Ogilvie and Dan Ray, cleared the site by cutting back and digging out overgrown plants, built three new compost bins, made a raised bed using railway sleepers and moved bricks and flint to create path edges.

On the second day team two – Bill Brett, Nick Tarn, Emily Lyons, Michael Picasso and Paul Sands took over, digging out soil, erecting a fence at the entrance to the garden and finishing off the pathways and planting.

Everyone worked hard and the Charity were very pleased with the results.

A cheque for £1100 was presented to the charity by Bill Brett as a part of the volunteer initiative and this will go towards the Porchlight Employability Scheme which helps homeless people back to work.

Porchlight’s services are especially in demand at this time of the year when there are freezing temperatures – Porchlight have a number you can ring if you are concerned about anyone you see sleeping on the streets - 0800 567 7699. Please visit their website for more information: https://www.porchlight.org.uk/news/three-ways-you-can-help-homeless-people-this-christmas

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