As part of CSV Make a Difference Day, the UK’s single biggest day of volunteering, Lynne Featherstone MP last week helped out at FAITH Plant centre, the Wood Green based garden centre where adults with learning difficulties volunteer and gain essential life skills.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP joined service users Merle and June in clearing the FAITH’s grounds from autumn leaves and was rewarded with a special tour of the centre’s unique and colourful plants.
Lynne Featherstone took part to show the positive impact that giving time to benefit others could have, and to show the importance of community spirit in tough times.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“FAITH Plant centre is a truly unique gem, working with residents with learning difficulties as well as local school kids, to spread knowledge about plants, and helping to dress Haringey’s parks in colour each season.
“That’s why I feel it is especially exciting to do my bit to help raise awareness about the importance of volunteering here at FAITH. And to top it off, I have really had a great time being out in the fresh air, clearing the grounds with Merle and June.”
I went to the Faith Plant Centre (Faith Plant Centre, Palm House, Wolves Lane, Wood Green N22 5JD) – the one that together with local users we saved not that long ago when it was under threatened closure by withdrawal of funding.
There is a most remarkable jungle area, desert area and rain forest area – as well as a garden centre – which provides training and work for volunteers with a variety of disabilities.
They also run a restaurant and coffee shop – also staffed with volunteers with a range of disabilities. It is a truly fantastic place – where staff and volunteers all are incredibly friendly and committed to creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere.
About 50 volunteers come here to train and work in horticulture. This perfectly fits the bill of helping people to find routes to occupations for those who simply cannot work in the normal way. Additionally – local children come here to experience the different climate areas, to learn about some of the creatures that live in them too.
So – they put me to work with a rake, and myself, Merle and June raked all the leaves up from the front lawn. It was very enjoyable and a pleasure to see and meet lots of the volunteers – and get some fresh air and exercise.