Boost for garden makeover plan

From left, Gemma Buchan, Inspire Support Assistant, James Allan, Eden Drive resident, Sian Simpson, Inspire Support Worker, Muriel Johnston, Eden Drive resident.
From left, Gemma Buchan, Inspire Support Assistant, James Allan, Eden Drive resident, Sian Simpson, Inspire Support Worker, Muriel Johnston, Eden Drive resident.

A local charity’s plans for a garden make-over project in 2015 have received a welcome boost thanks to a generous donation from ASPC, the North-east’s leaders in property marketing.

Inspire – which empowers the life choices of hundreds of local adults, young people and children with learning disabilities and additional support needs – operates several services in Peterhead, and is currently undertaking a fundraising campaign to enable the modernisation and upgrade of the garden at its Eden Drive project.

Peterhead & District Round Table recently donated £1,500 towards the project, while Inspire staff have undertaken a number of activities, including sponsored runs, and a bottle stall at the local harbour festival, to collect a further £800 towards their fundraising target.

Now their efforts have received a major boost thanks to a donation of £2,200 from ASPC.

The Eden Drive project is currently home to four people supported by Inspire – which provides a range of more than 50 services throughout Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray including 24-hour residential care, supported accommodation, training for employment initiatives and respite care.

The garden at Eden Drive has always been a popular space but in recent times the people who live there – three of whom have been there for more than 20 years – have found themselves able to spend less time outside due to mobility issues and the garden becoming too high maintenance.

Sian Simpson, Support Worker at Eden Drive, says the hope is to raise enough funds to improve access to the garden and create a space that is easier for the people Inspire supports to maintain so that they can all enjoy the benefits of being outside.

Sian said: “We would really like to revamp the garden area into a low maintenance space that the people we support can enjoy and look after – and so one of our main priorities is to install a wheelchair ramp.

“Our hope is also to have a decking area and a patio for BBQ’s where people can socialise and to establish some raised flower beds that are accessible for even people in wheelchairs to tend to. We are really keen to use the garden to its full potential as the people we support love being outside but at the moment it needs to have some serious new life injected into it.

“We are always looking for help and support with our projects, including this one, and welcome dialogue with any individual or organisation that can provide help or support, either in kind or financially.

“We are so grateful to both ASPC and Peterhead & District Round Table for their incredibly generous donations.

“It has given our fundraising campaign a real boost and will enable us to start making plans for getting the garden ready for the summer months.”

ASPC Chairman John MacRae said that they were delighted to support the Eden Drive project.

“It is particularly important to us that our charitable donations make a difference to local people in this area and the Eden Drive project is an excellent example of this. We are delighted to have been able to support Inspire with this important work in Peterhead.”