Kind donation boosts community wellbeing project

A kind donation has boosted a community wellbeing project in the heart of Middlesbrough.


28 Jan 2022

Colleagues across Thirteen’s business change and improvement team raised over £200 in a fundraiser, instead of sending Christmas cards. 

This week, the funds have seen a stunning water feature installed at Galloway Gardens, in Thorntree, which is providing a much-improved environment and tranquil outdoor space for local residents.

In recent months, fruit and nut trees have formed an attractive orchard, bulbs planted to add a splash of vibrant colour, a relaxing seating area and planters built, thanks to the many volunteers who have put recycled materials to good use, which would otherwise be thrown away.

Working with partner organisations Middlesbrough Council, Community Ventures, MVDA and You’ve Got This, volunteers are learning new skills such as growing and cooking fresh vegetables.

Thirteen’s executive director of business change and improvement Heather Ashton said: “When I first visited the gardens, I was immediately welcomed with community spirit and enthusiasm from everyone involved. The garden project is impressive and it’s very clear it’s benefitting the community and their wellbeing, which is something we’re passionate about at Thirteen. 

“After hearing about the plans to create an accessible sensory garden, there was a clear opportunity for us to help and we hope the water feature brings enjoyment to everyone who takes time out to relax in the garden.”

Thirteen’s environmental specialist John Woods said: “We’re very grateful for this kind donation which will benefit the community.

“This project brings so many benefits. It’s a place to meet new people, make friends and learn too. Connecting with nature is great for people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“We’re doing this because our customers wanted to improve the area they live in and everything we’re doing here is from their feedback. This project is all about giving something back to them and it’s just one of many community projects which will improve the environment, create more natural habitats for wildlife and a stronger ecosystem.”