So much fun learning!

At Saughall Road in Chester we had a decking area that had become unsafe to use. The decking was removed and Nick (staff) spoke to Kenny and Tony, who live here, and they decided that it would be a shame to waste the wood, so they put their thinking hats on and came up with ideas of what to do with the wood.

Some of the ideas were to extend the vegetable patch, build some new seating and build a platform for a new greenhouse. Nick and Tony came up with the idea of a pagoda (we had no idea what this was but Nick and Tony assured the staff it would look fantastic!) Sharing ideas on what to do with the wood became a nightly occurrence with pictures, drawings and iPads spread out all over the kitchen table.

With the pile of wood looking rather sorry for itself, Kenny, Tony and Nick made short work of building the staging for the new greenhouse; Kenny and Tony holding the wood and Nick screwing it all together. Not only were we building, we were putting in applications for the staff council for funding for the new greenhouse. Tony had drawn an excellent picture of the garden, and what everyone had planned so they could not say no!! Everyone would like to thank the Staff Council for the greenhouse.

We also ordered a bench to go around the tree from money that had kindly been donated by Tony’s family, when his father sadly passed away. Tony is particularly happy with this as it’s a place for him to go and remember his mum and dad. The rest of the money was used to buy a water feature and a plaque in memory of his mum and dad.

We built planters around the new patio area and extended the vegetable patch. This was good fun with Nick, who supported both Kenny and Tony to attach the wood together with the handheld power tool, teaching new skills to both the tenants. A lot of laugher was heard during this time while Kenny and Tony got to grips with building.

When all this was finished we still had a lot of wood left over and this is where Tony and Nick decided to build a pagoda. They found a suitable area where they could build and Tony and Nick spent time searching the internet for ideas of shape, size and height. This was the space so Tony and Nick decided it needed to be big and something special. Nick and Tony got going on the pagoda and boy was it big when it was finished.

Kenny spent a lot of time watering the garden and ensuring the flowers and vegetables were ok. Kenny enjoys taking ownership of this and every night he waters and checks all the plants and vegetables.

Now we are nearly finished, just some painting to finish off; Tony and Kenny are waiting for good weather to do this. Nick has spent so much time encouraging Tony and Kenny to take ownership of the garden, and supporting them to learn new skills. Nick has shown off talents we did not know he had and turned the garden into something wonderful. Tony and Kenny have really enjoyed being out in the garden and are looking forward to taking the vegetables that they grow to share with other houses. They are proud to show off what all their hard work has produced. Once the fruit is ready for picking then they will start jam making and using our home grown herbs and veg in the cooking.

Now what can we learn and do together next?

Julie Bell
Senior Support Worker
Saughall Road, Chester


  • Tess Marshall says:

    What a fantastic use of the wood, and great planning by everyone. The bench around the tree for Tony to remember Mum and Dad is a lovely idea, and the photos are fantastic!

  • Fay Walker says:

    This sounds amazing! A great example of the people we support taking control of their own homes and decisions. The pagoda looks brilliant! Nice work!

  • Amy Carter says:

    Loved this blog! The pictures are brilliant and I can say that the garden looks amazing in person too. It’s sometimes difficult to know what to do when you have such a huge space but everyone’s been very creative!

  • Emma Killick says:

    Wow – I am seriously impressed by the vision, craftsmanship and hard work on display here! I love that this project evolved over time and enabled everyone to use skills and talents we may or may not have already known about. Well done Nick especially and with plans for Jam making I can see that you haven’t stopped yet!

  • Kate Webb says:

    Sounds wonderful! Great teamwork and very resourceful!

  • Jessie Harrison says:

    This is absolutely fantastic! What a lovely story, it’s great that Kenny, Tony and Nick have found something that showcases their creativity, they clearly have a natural talent for this sort of thing. And I must say how professional the pagoda looks. (a perfect place to host a tea party next year perhaps… and they could even use their homemade jam in their cakes!)

    This put a big smile on my face!

    It’s great to see how much fun you’re all having 🙂

    • linda hunter says:

      Thanks Julie for the blog. Saughall road has a brillant staff team I am bias though as I am part of that team. Nick has worked really hard with Tony and Keith in the garden and now it is fantastic for barbeques and parties.

  • Jackie Alexander says:

    What creativity the people we support at Saughall Road have shown and the dedication and hard work from their staff team, well done! Can I have a guided tour when I next visit and buy some jam for my toast too 🙂

  • Darren says:

    As I was reading this I was thinking to myself ‘please let there by photos’ and I scrolled and scrolled and there they were fantastic!

    What can I say that others haven’t? – great use of wood and I really like the pagoda and flooring, everyone must be very proud of these guys.

    Hip hip Hooray!

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