Ester thanks young gardeners’ 5th anniversary project with homemade bread

A team of young volunteers have completed another Enable project in the week of the initiative’s fifth anniversary, to help tidy and maintain an older resident’s garden.

Enable is a partnership set up on 29 October 2014 between City of York Council’s specialist housing advice service and SASH, a charity providing accommodation and support to young people experiencing homelessness.

This latest project was for council tenant Ester Givens who was struggling looking after her bungalow in Copmanthorpe. A visit from a council housing advisor showed that the 88-year-old wanted to stay in her home of many years but needed help keeping on top of her garden.

Team Enable were called on to help and agreed to do a full garden makeover. On 30 October, they cut back bushes and weeded, cleared gutters and, to reduce slip hazards, scraped moss from the paths.

Ester was keen to give something to the team, so made some home-made bread and rhubarb jam for lunch served with a pot of tea.

Once the job was completed, Ester said: “They’ve done a wonderful job. Thank you to all the young people for their hard work. I can’t believe they have given up their own time to help.”

Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for housing and safer neighbourhoods, said: “To date, Enable has carried out 26 projects which have made a real and lasting difference to the lives of older people in York. They have weeded and painted, learnt to hang wallpaper, built a sensory garden and put up Christmas trees.

“The young people have had the opportunity to make new friends, spend time with older people, learn new skills and realise the difference they can make to the lives of others. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Gary Hogg of SASH said: “Over the past five years, young volunteers from SASH have helped older residents – like Ester – and groups who have struggled with jobs around the house and garden.

“In return they have made new friends and have learned new skills which will come in handy for when they move on to independence. We are extremely proud of the Enable project and all that it has achieved in the past five years.”

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