A Sanctuary retirement living scheme in Ely enjoyed an afternoon of rhythm and blues as they celebrated the transformation of their courtyard garden.
Residents and staff at Woolpack Yard held the event to thank partners and volunteers for transforming their garden as part of a Growing Communities project led by Sanctuary Group and community charity Groundwork Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The garden has been transformed and now includes raised beds for vegetable planting, attractive borders, paved areas and a colourful array of flowers and plants for residents to enjoy.
Singing on the day were local stars Charlie O’Connor and Molly Armstrong, aged 16. The young duo, who have raised hundreds of pounds for local charities, entertained the audience with folk, country and blues.
Rat Pack and swing vocalist Michael Anthony also sang while guests enjoyed a tasty outdoor BBQ in the transformed garden.
A final surprise from Sanctuary was presented to residents of Woolpack Yard, to create the finishing touch for their garden; a hedgehog house, just in time for hibernation.
Local MP, the Rt. Hon. Sir Jim Paice, has shown his support for the project and said: "Elderly people like to live in pleasant surroundings and a neat and attractive garden takes some beating. Thank you to the Growing Communities Project."
Graham Nolan, Sanctuary Housing’s head of neighbourhood partnerships, added: “I am so pleased the garden at Woolpack Yard has had a positive impact on individuals who are living there, providing them with a pleasant area to socialise and for their own gardening opportunities.”
The project was carried out in collaboration with funders Sanctuary Group, Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes and Travis Perkins. Volunteers from the local community, including the Waitrose Volunteers Programme, made the transformation possible by lending their time and gardening skills.
Natalie Sutterby, Groundwork Cambridgeshire and Peterborough operations manager, added: “We have been delighted to be involved in Growing Communities because it demonstrates so well the importance of bringing communities together through volunteering opportunities like this.
Part of a wider initiative, Growing Communities, creates and develops communal green spaces for the benefits of residents. Turning unused communal areas into useable areas, the project gives residents places to socialise and grow their own plants.