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Employees get green fingers in support of Mental Health Awareness Week

Supporting the local community is important to everyone at Minster Law and getting involved in initiatives that really make a difference to people’s lives is a key part of who we are. That’s why our teams in Wakefield, York and London were keen to come together in preparation for Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May) by volunteering at local associations that support adults with mental health issues.

With summer fast approaching, nine members of Minster Law’s administration team turned ‘Ground Force Gang’ to help a care home in South Yorkshire tend to its overrun and unruly garden. Beech Cliffe is a privately run residential home for adults with severe autism and challenging behaviour, and its garden, which was in desperate need of some TLC, had the potential of being a relaxing space for the home’s residents to enjoy.

Minster Law’s Sam Wade, Mark Mason, Luke Barnard, Rachael Vollans, Fiona White, Ashley Turner, Jonny Barrett, Ruel Ali and Josie Hill had their work cut out to clear the garden that had become neglected over the years. However, along with two of the home’s maintenance employees, they raked, weeded, dug and barrowed, and while it was by no means finished by the end of the day, the area looked a lot more like a garden that could be enjoyed by the home’s residents.

Josie Hill, who organised the volunteering day at Beech Cliffe said: “We were all really keen to do something to mark Mental Health Awareness Week as many of us have close connections to friends, family and colleagues with autism. My daughter, who is autistic, currently lives away from home at Beech Cliffe’s sister care home, Beech Cliffe Grange, and Sam’s sister, Fiona’s niece and our colleague, Mark Mason, are also autistic, so what better cause for us to focus on?”

Members of the Corporate Services team also dusted off their gardening tools to spend the day volunteering at the Poppleton Garden Railway Nursery on the outskirts of York. The registered charity, which is run by local volunteers, recognises the therapeutic benefits horticulture can have on adults recovering from mental health issues and partners numerous health agencies across the York area.

Led by Minster Law’s Client Relations Manager, James Heseltine, the team of 13 were set a number of tasks at the nursery including digging in compost, hedge trimming, weeding, painting and potting plants. Fuelled with a generous supply of tea and biscuits, they made great progress in the morning before torrential rain forced them inside to focus on potting plants and stacking plant pots into order by size and type.

James said: “We were really looking forward to the volunteering day at Poppleton Garden Railway Nursery and giving a little back to this important local cause – we even arrived too early before the centre opened! We had great fun and really felt as if we had made a valuable contribution to the local community with our day’s work.”

Minster Law Managing Director, Michael Warren, added: “Supporting the many worthwhile causes in our local area is really important to us at Minster Law, which is why volunteering days, charity support initiatives and fundraising is actively encouraged throughout the company. We’re proud of all our employees who choose to volunteer with causes such as Beech Cliffe and Poppleton Garden Railway Nursery, and are pleased to be able to help them in whatever small way we can.”

To find out more about Minster Law’s charity and fundraising initiatives, please visit www.minsterlaw.co.uk/csr.