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Employees from Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (bdht) are continuing their campaign to give back to the community as they support local good causes with the gift of time as part of their 1,000 hours campaign, an ongoing scheme where employees trade a day to give something back to the local community. The 1,000 hour campaign has been running since 2019, getting more and more popular each year, with the latest initiative being their project at Charford First School.

The staff at Charford First School reached out to bdht and enquired if they could collaborate as part of the 1,000 hours scheme to create a Rainbow Garden for the pupils to enjoy. The idea for the garden initially came from a really tragic event in July 2021. Anita McLaren, the Headteacher at the school, lost her mother very suddenly when she was killed in a road traffic collision. Staff and friends of the school, along with Anita’s family, raised money to go towards something that would live on in her memory and so the idea of the Rainbow Garden was born. Anita’s mother loved children and loved hearing all about the school and it was felt that this would be something that all the children, staff and parents could enjoy based on a rainbow theme, creating a garden full of colour and calmness.

bdht staff were delighted to gift their time and effort for the children. The project included staff clearing the area which was extremely overgrown and then preparing the allotted piece of land ready for landscaping. This has created a blank canvas for the school so that they can start to build up the area and allow the children to get involved, now they have returned to school. Students will be rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty as they help to plant areas and decorate in accordance with the rainbow theme.

Sam Powell, HR Officer at bdht, said: “As a not-for-profit organisation, everything we do is about best serving our community. We are delighted to be involved with this project at Charford First School as part of our 1,000 hours campaign, we strive to make a difference in the community and give back to local organisations which play such a vital role in the area.

“We have to say a massive thank you to Travis Perkins who provided the machinery to clear the area free of charge. This made a huge difference to the project as the alternative was completing the project by hand, which would have been extremely labour intensive. The extra time gained meant we were able to do more to this area over the course of the project and allowed for a truly successful outcome.

“We hope the staff and children of Charford First School are really pleased with the results we have achieved for them, and that the area becomes a really special place for the children’s wellbeing, mindfulness and education.”

Alison Forrest, Deputy Headteacher, said: “We are so thankful to all the staff from bdht and Travis Perkins who worked so hard over the summer to create a space ready for our Rainbow Garden to develop. Every child will have the opportunity to be part of the project moving forwards and this will create a lovely space for everyone to enjoy.”

For the latest updates in the progress of the 1,000 hours campaign, follow bdht on social media on Facebook and Twitter with the @bdht handle.


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