Homelessness charity’s skills used by for NHS wellbeing garden

RHS regional development manager for the North West Claire Drury and Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil Urmston with picnic benches <i>(Image: Emmaus Bolton)</i>
RHS regional development manager for the North West Claire Drury and Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil Urmston with picnic benches (Image: Emmaus Bolton)

The furniture-making skills of a homelessness charity have been used to create benches for the grounds of an NHS health centre where the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are planting a wellbeing garden.

Homelessness charity, Emmaus Bolton, provides a home for up to 22 people off Fletcher Street in Bolton, giving them the chance to develop skills in a range of different social enterprises, including furniture-making, upcycling, and repair work.

And now members of Emmaus have designed and built picnic benches, incorporating space for people with disabilities, to help the RHS transform the space outside Alexandra Park Health Centre into a wellbeing garden.

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The garden will support staff wellbeing, providing a space for them to relax and connect with each other and nature.

Tony Stephenson, director of Emmaus Bolton, said: “Companionship is an integral part of rebuilding self-esteem and confidence particularly from the isolation of homelessness.

“Designing furniture that helps people get together adds another layer of meaning for the people who took part in creating this project.

The Bolton News: Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil Urmston and RHS Regional Development Manager for the North West Claire Drury
The Bolton News: Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil Urmston and RHS Regional Development Manager for the North West Claire Drury

Emmaus Bolton Projects Manager Phil Urmston and RHS Regional Development Manager for the North West Claire Drury (Image: Emmaus Bolton)

“People who have been homeless quite often have complex health care needs, so we are delighted to help the RHS and give back to the National Health Service in this way.”

Claire Drury, RHS regional development manager for the North West, added: “It has been a pleasure working with Emmaus Bolton.

“They have built a number of benches for an NHS garden in the Greater Manchester area that I’m sure will be enjoyed for many years to come.

“The benches are beautifully made and are all the more special thanks to the people who worked on them.

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“It’s great to know that we have not only received locally made and upcycled furniture and but have also supported Emmaus’ charitable aims; rebuilding lives from homelessness with work and training.”

People supported by Emmaus Bolton created the benches from sustainably sourced materials, in keeping with the charity’s ethos: to work to live and give while reducing waste.

To find out more about homelessness charity Emmaus Bolton's made to measure furniture and upcycling service or to place and order, please visit https://emmaus.org.uk/bolton/shop/the-workshop/.