Volunteer 'gardeners' from the ranks of St James's Wealth Management
Image Source: Jacqui Morley
Jacqui Morley

Time is the new currency - ask the wealth managers!

At the Blackpool house gifted by Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust - and transformed by BBC DIY SOS - a new project is taking root. A community garden for Blackpool Carers Centre. With 1000 young and young adult carers aged from five to 25 on their books, and 5000 adults carers (aged up to 95 but sometimes even older) the charity knows that gardening as therapy spans the generations. Volunteers have been hard at work creating the community garden with a view to taking part in Blackpool in Bloom. It’s already won praise from the national Carers Trust, of which it’s a network partner, and which itself benefits from the National Gardens Scheme granting visitors unique access to thousands of private gardens every summer. But there’s a bigger picture here too. The grounds were a tangle of brambles and undergrowth - so thick you could barely see where it began let alone ended - before DIY SOS moved in, cleared it, and produced gardens fit for unpaid carers of all ages. Like all gardens, big and small, the grounds need constant maintenance. Five volunteers from as far afield as Leeds, the Wirral, Chorley and other areas - all from St. James’s Place Wealth Management - have been giving generously of their time to make a real difference to the gardens at Beaverbrooks Housel, the base of Blackpool Carers Centre. Time is the new currency and SJP have a great time giving initiative and also a fabulous charitable foundation which gave out £10.8m grants last year and specifically help children and young people. Ian Merrick, Nicky Timmins-Gallagher, Karen Hastings, Shelagh Dorsett and division manager Nicola Smythe stepped up to help out - having picked the carers’ centre for their time giving. Made the carers’ day too. “We’ve really enjoyed our time here, the weather’s been kind to us and it’s good for team building too,” said Nicola. National Carers’ Week is fast approaching and as ever marks the start of the charity’s annual Cash Quest for Carers to fund a real employment opportunity for a Young Carers Champion - with the backing of corporate fundraisers and others taking part.

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