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Power firm volunteers add helping hand to Ipswich charity garden project

Volunteers from the country’s biggest electricity company made a new set of planters for an Ipswich charity’s garden space then created a path to make them accessible for all.

From Press releases - 29 March 2018 12:00 AM

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Employees from UK Power Networks’ office at Fore Hamlet in Ipswich spent a day helping at Emmaus Suffolk, a charity which supports the homeless and long-term unemployed.

A total of seven staff from the power firm painted wooden slats to be made into planters while also gravelling and adding plastic squares for a path so that those with mobility issues can access and enjoy the flowers and vegetables.

Emmaus Suffolk opened its doors in Ipswich in February 2016 on the site of the former Dales Pub on Dales Road with a view to helping homeless and long-term unemployed people to rehabilitate and regain their confidence, self-worth and dignity. The charity has a shop and café with gardens at the rear.

Wendy Marsh, from the dispatch team at UK Power Networks, said: “I have personally volunteered with this worthwhile charity since they opened and this is the second time I have been able to gather a group of colleagues at UK Power Networks to help out.

“The feedback I got from those who volunteered is that they learned a lot about the realities of being homeless from the people they met on the day and all of them have expressed a desire to get involved with the charity again in future.”

Claire Staddon, Operational Manager for Emmaus Suffolk, said: “We are hugely grateful to the team at UK Power Networks for giving up their time to assist us with this latest part of our garden project.

“Their hard work on the day has made a fantastic improvement to the look of the garden here as well as making it even more accessible. We have already had a really positive reaction from everyone who uses it.”

UK Power Networks, which delivers the East of England’s electricity supplies to homes and businesses, gives staff two days paid leave each year to volunteer or fund raise in their local community.