NHS staff get their hands dirty in aid of Doncaster community centre

NHS staff from across Yorkshire got their hands dirty for a good cause on Friday 11 April by helping at a community engagement gardening project at Cantley Community Centre in Doncaster.

Staff from NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit (WSYB CSU) undertook the gardening project in the grounds of Cantley Community Centre: a registered charity which acts as a communal hub for culture and education.

Work carried out on the day included clearing paths, pruning overgrown plants, the weeding of flower beds and general tidying up before the team rejuvenated the garden by planting perennials, painting garden furniture and repairing the garden’s willow tunnel.

The community engagement project was organised by Business in the Community, which helps organisations to connect with their local communities, and is just one in a series of projects that WSYB CSU are taking part in alongside CCGs in West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

NHS WSYB CSU Sustainability Lead, Linzi Kendall, said of the project:

“This partnership between our organisations shows the commitment being made by the NHS organisations in Yorkshire to interact with their communities.

“It’s great to have an opportunity like this to get hands-on and make a difference to people’s lives, as we’re a socially responsible organisation which believes that it’s important to support our local communities in sustainable and practical ways. 

“The NHS is built around communities like this one, and we have a duty of care towards them that doesn’t start in hospitals and GP practices; care begins in places like this.”

Christina Quinn, Patient & Public Experience Manager with Doncaster CCG, who helped to organise the event commented:

“This is the first time that we’ve worked together with the CSU to undertake a community engagement project, and it feels fantastic to achieve something like this within one of our communities. 

“While the majority of volunteers work for the NHS and have an opportunity to play such a positive role in people’s lives, it was also incredibly satisfying to be part of this project and actually build something within the community. Everyone involved had great fun and it was a wonderful day – I just didn’t know gardening could be such hard work!”

Cantley Community Centre’s John McConville was thrilled with the results of the project.

“I’d like to express our thanks and appreciation for the work that’s been carried out as part of this project,” said Mr McConville.

“I’m overwhelmed by the fantastic spirit and positivity displayed throughout the day. The results are staggering. I have already received a number of compliments about the condition of the garden and I can’t wait for the people of Cantley to start enjoying it once again thanks to this project.”