Some of our residents take part in the Motivate to Work scheme, operated by Southend Borough Council’s Parks Department.
The scheme aims to give volunteering opportunities to disadvantaged people in the borough, with the long-term aim of helping people back into work.
Recent projects include growing vegetables at an allotment, painting the railings at Priory Park, and cleaning and tidying Southend War Memorial in preparation for November’s Remembrance Sunday activities.
Now, with Christmas on the horizon, the service users have decided to get into the festive spirit by making decorative Christmas trees out of recycled pallets.
HARP residents, Graham Narroway, 67 and Darren Edwards, 46, recently presented one of the trees to Scott Dolling, Director of Culture and Tourism at SBC, to show their appreciation for the scheme.
Graham said “when I first started going to the allotment I didn’t think I’d enjoy it - now I can’t wait to get back. I’ve been going for six weeks, and I absolutely love it. It’s great to get out and about into the fresh air, and to work with the rest of the team on something meaningful.”
Cllr Lesley Salter, cabinet member for healthy communities and wellbeing, said “the guys from HARP have been a great help and have done some really important work in the borough through the Motivate to Work scheme. Come rain or shine, they are out there contributing to the community. The Christmas trees they’ve made from recycled pallets will be sold to raise funds to help the scheme continue into the New Year.”
If you’d like to buy one of the Christmas trees, they will be on sale for a suggested donation of £10 at The Parks Nursery, Wakering Rd, Great Wakering, with all money raised going towards funding the Motivate to Work scheme in future.