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Thames Water volunteers create urban oasis for Reading charity

Wednesday 29th September 2021 10:23

Thames Water volunteers at Reading Mencap

Kind-hearted Thames Water volunteers gave up their time to help create a special sensory garden for a Reading charity.  

Over two days, volunteers painted fences, built benches and potted plants so members of Reading Mencap can enjoy spending more time outdoors.  

The charity was founded in 1962 by parents of people with autism and learning disabilities to provide support for those individuals and their families. 

It aims to help individuals with learning disabilities to become active participants in their community, reduce inequality in statutory services and fight discrimination and isolation.  

Patsy Parnell, community engagement at Reading Mencap, said: “By creating a functioning outdoor space that members can enjoy, our members have the opportunity to enjoy planting vegetables and flowers and see them grow and develop through the season. 

“It’s all thanks to the donations of equipment, time and manpower Thames Water that we are able to create this space.” 

Jack Fuller, of Thames Water’s maintenance team, was one of the volunteers using their Time to Give Days. 

Under the Time to Give scheme, Thames Water employees are allocated two days a year which they can use to volunteer and give back to local charities or community groups that are close to their heart.  

He said: “It’s a good opportunity to get out of the office on a nice day and help out a local charity. 

“It’s a chance to meet new starters and people from the wider division in person for the first time so it’s good for teambuilding and a chance to give back to the community.” 

Claire Iredale, Thames Water’s community investment co-ordinator, said: “We are so pleased to be able to support Reading Mencap and that we have been given the opportunity to help them create a wonderful garden space for their service users to enjoy for years to come.” 

In June this year, 18 graduates at Thames Water took part in the Great British Litter Pick in another Time to Give Day.  

More than 20 bags of rubbish were collected as the new recruits got to work sprucing up the area around Clearwater Court, King’s Meadow and the railway station.