Growing a fabulous Partnership with Burford Garden Company

What a great 18 months it has been at our Outdoor Wellbeing Hub since we moved into our new site in November 2019, and we couldn’t have done it without Burford Garden Company’s support!

Our Outdoor Wellbeing Hub hosts two services lead by Team Leader, Helen Clarke: our dig ‘n’ grow service offers gardening support and activities for adults with learning disability, complex needs and mental health concerns and our Dreamcatchers Forest School which offers outdoor education to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

It’s a very special place, giving us the opportunity to grow and develop both the garden and the number of people that we can support, providing outreach to a wider community of people who could benefit from gardening and working outdoors. To make our dream of supporting more people to a better life through gardening come true, we will need support from our local community, and we were thrilled with the response from our call out for support from the experts in all things gardening and outdoors, the Burford Garden Company

We are so proud to say Burford Garden Company are Sponsors of our Outdoor Wellbeing Hub, and support Guideposts by offering their expert advice, skills, workforce and connections, as well as financial assistance and goods to help with the development and growth of the site.  Burford Garden Company’s support has been a huge asset for our staff and our services through helping us to create a safe and much more usable area for the gardening services to be housed.

With their help we have been able to fix our flooding issues and make the external ground ready for use, which was an urgent task.  In January 2020 the site was completely under water, with flood water spilling through the poly tunnel and causing damage to plants, equipment and site access. 

It was a terrible time for Helen and the gardeners.  When Burford Garden Company got in touch and asked if there was any way they could help at the Outdoor Wellbeing Hub, we were overjoyed. They responded to our needs with practical and informative advice as well as financial support to help us overcome our problems at the site.   

Their expertise meant they could assess the work that would be needed, as well as being able to source assistance from external company McCracken and Sons to help implement the work.  The ground outside the polytunnel needed a thorough going over with a rotavator to make it useable; the ditches around the entire site needed to be dredged and re-established in some places; and we also needed to make the site secure following break-ins and thefts.  Burford Garden Company came to Guideposts’ rescue and the whole site has benefitted immensely from their support.  Our ditches are open and now flow with water rather than spilling out to the gardens, and the water levels are no longer rising up and into the polytunnel.  The ground around the site has been turned over and it has transformed dramatically into workable earth for Helen to create more space for Forest School and training areas for the dig ‘n’ grow gardeners.  All thanks to the financial support of Burford Garden Company and the provision of McCracken and Sons to complete the hard work on site.

Our initial plans for palisade security fencing on site were priced at a level which that was unaffordable for us and would have been very difficult to fundraise for in a short amount of time. The palisade fencing was also rejected by the council planning department due to its appearance.  Our head scratching came to an end when Burford Garden Company provided us with their own solution to security fencing, which is more fitting to the ethos of our mission to remain sustainable at the Hub as well as fulfilling the wishes of the planning department (and our finance manager!).  They suggested we implement security hedging.  This was a simple and cost effective method to keep intruders away; Hawthorn and Blackthorn Hedgerows securing the entire site whilst creating a natural environment to benefit our local wildlife. 

We weren’t only supplied with this great advice from our friends at Burford: this fantastic company have also supplied all the hedging plants as well as a volunteer workforce that attended just before Christmas to help with planting.  The Guideposts staff and a very special volunteer the Mayor of Witney, Joy Aitman, thoroughly enjoyed working with the specialist team and learning from their information and expertise. The Burford Garden Company team showed a great appreciation and understanding of the services offered at the Outdoor Wellbeing Hub, and the benefits that the Guideposts Outdoor Wellbeing Hub brings to our community.

When the Burford Garden Company team visited again recently, we were delighted to see all that has been going on even over this disrupted year. They are continuing their valuable support with further projects for Dreamcatchers Forest School and helping to spruce up the look of our space which will soon be adorned with cheerfully painted containers, and a great new sign. With their help we are also ready for the new growing season equipped with seeds ready to spring into new life.

Our dig ‘n’ grow gardeners love to show visitors the difference that has been made with the help of Burford Garden Company, and delight in talking about how bad the floods were last year, describing the amazing changes with awe and adoration. 

Our members and all our team are so proud to call Burford Garden Company our friends and Sponsors, and we have been delighted with their ongoing support.  The Outdoor Wellbeing Hub would not be in such a great place to offer services without it.  We look forward to working more with Burford Garden Company, and the great work that we can provide to people in need in the local community with the help of their sponsorship.             

Dig ‘n’ Grow is a day service that equips adults with learning disabilities with new skills such as planting, woodwork, nature crafts and cooking, all in a safe and social setting.

Dreamcatchers Forest School supports children aged 5-15 who have a disability or are on the SEND register, and children with social, emotional and Mental Health problems (SEMH).

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