Young students in Cumbernauld have returned to Redburn School to find their sensory garden transformed thanks to a team of enthusiastic Virgin Media O2 volunteers, who have provided new life to the space.
Following news of the garden being vandalised, Nicola Mcwhinnie rallied a team together to revamp the garden providing the children with a new sensory garden to escape the classroom and play and learn in an outdoor environment.
The volunteers set to work by painting the outhouse, relaying flowers beds and mending the bridge. Collectively the team spent over 40 hours working on the garden and this is just the beginning. Septembers work was just one phase of the redevelopment and the Virgin Media O2 team will be back to continue the renovation.
Redburn School supports children with complex learning needs and the sensory garden provides a much-needed outdoor space to explore and learn in non-verbal ways. Alongside the sensory garden the school also has an outdoor bounce, swing and spin playground plus other activities to help develop both literacy and numeracy skills.
The volunteers were able to take part thanks to Virgin Media O2’s ‘Take Five’ initiative, which offers all staff five paid volunteering days a year to support projects – either in-person or digitally – helping them give back and support their local community.
With around 17,000 employees working for the company nationwide, Virgin Media O2 staff are committed to offering their time to charities, community groups, and schools throughout the UK. The business is aiming to help 1 million people through volunteering by 2025.
Nicola Green, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2 said: “We launched ‘Take Five’ to make it easier than ever for all of our people to support their local communities and volunteer for causes that matter to them.
“Each month, our people volunteer in locations right across the UK and it’s wonderful to see how their hard work and dedication is making a difference to the communities we serve – including at Redburn School.”
Joanne Donnelly, PTA at Redburn School said: “A huge thankyou to Nicola and the team for their amazing work in revamping the sensory garden. Redburn School helps children with complex learning needs and the space provides the children with a place to relax, interact with nature and immerse themselves in the outdoors.
We’re now in the process of thinking about new ideas and ways to make the garden even more interactive and can’t wait to get started again in the new year.”
In May, Virgin Media O2 launched their first sustainability strategy as a joint business, the Better Connections Plan, outlining its bold commitments to cut carbon, champion circularity, and support communities as it upgrades the UK. The business aims to help tackle data poverty by connecting 1 million digitally excluded people; and equip 2 million people with the skills and tools to feel more connected to digital society by the end of 2025.
Virgin Media O2 also has pledged to connect community centres around the country to gigabit broadband and has launched a programme called Community Calling to provide devices to those in need.