Finance firm volunteers transform homelessness charity garden

By Barrie Hudson - 11 July 2022

CharityBusinessCommunity
  • The Owl Financial Services team

    The Owl Financial Services team

A team of 16 volunteers from Owl Financial Services joined Threshold Housing Link to undertake a massive summer garden blitz.

  • Threshold CEO Michael Keenan, left,Owl Financial Services Business Development Manager Kris Walklett

    Threshold CEO Michael Keenan, left,Owl Financial Services Business Development Manager Kris Walklett

They transformed the garden of one of the charity's largest resettlement properties for homeless people in Swindon.

Threshold Housing Link are Swindon’s longest-established homelessness charity, providing support in Swindon for the past 50 years. 

Threshold offer short, medium, and long-term supported accommodation to rough sleepers and other homeless individuals in Swindon, as well as undertaking a street outreach service and developing social enterprises in the town.

Kris Walklett, Business Development Manager of Owl Financial Services, said: “It’s been very hard work, but really, really rewarding. It's been great for us all to come out and do something like this for the community, for such a great charity, it's been fantastic and something we would like to repeat in the future. 

 

“There are 16 of our team in total here today, and with so many hands we’ve totally been able to transform the garden. It really does look great now. 

"Owl Financial Services colleagues have come from all over the UK to be here, from as far as Edinburgh, Manchester, Rugby, Brighton, the Midlands as well as staff from here in Swindon. It’s been a remarkable team effort.

 

“It’s been power tool central as the whole team have been using power jet washers, strimmer’s, lawn mower’s, electric hedge cutters and then obviously good old fashioned hand work with secateurs, shovels and rakes. 

"We’ve smartened up the garden for Threshold residents so they can best enjoy the large garden during summertime. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved”."

 

Threshold CEO Michael Keenan said: "With a hope for beautiful summer weather to come, we wanted to encourage guests to be able to get out and enjoy the extensive garden of this property. 

"The positive effects of gardens on mood are well established which is precisely why they are important and common elements in places of education, healing, corporate environments, hospices and so forth. 

"Renowned for not just being a place to relax, gardens are known to significantly reduce subjective stress levels, lower blood pressure, modulate sleep wake cycles, and decrease agitated mood states – just some effects among a raft of other positive effects identified by researchers.

“We were therefore delighted that the team from Owl Financial Services agreed to undertake this project alongside members of our own staff team. We’re grateful also to Debbie Johnson of the Openwork Foundation for facilitating this for us.”

Kris Walklett added: "The event is an excellent example of community-driven social engagement which has a real impact upon the lives of people who are often vulnerable and marginalised”.

Threshold relies heavily upon support from the public and from corporate donors to make a positive difference to the lives of their service users. The charity welcomes offers of assistance or donations from all interested individuals and organisations. 

Further information can be obtained from events@thl.org.uk and www.thl.org.uk

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