Allotment for the visually impaired blossoms with help from Barclays Wealth and Investment Management
A team from Barclays Wealth and Investment Management has helped a charity for the visually impaired prepare a vital allotment space for cultivation.
The 15-strong group spent a day with Manx Blind Welfare Society staff and volunteers erecting a shed, putting up fencing and preparing the ground. The allotment is now ready for a full season of use in 2014, giving the charity the opportunity to offer help with inclusion and independence for people in the Isle of Man with visual impairment.
The employee effort was part of Barclays’ worldwide ‘Make a Difference Day’ initiative and came about as a direct result of a presentation on sighted guiding given by MBWS over the summer. During that presentation, employees were shown how to confidently assist people with sight issues and received certificates to confirm they had undertaken the training.
Some attendees were so impressed with the work of the Society that they offered their time and the support of Barclays Wealth and Investment Management for any projects that could be part of Make a Difference Day.
Ian Smith, Assistant Vice President of Operations and Disability Champion for Barclays in the Isle of Man, said: “The presentation by the Manx Blind Welfare Society inspired many of the attendees to offer their help supporting the vital work this charity does in the Isle of Man.”
“The Society told us about the work that was needed at their allotment, and our team quickly got together to give their time on a Saturday to help out.”
“During the day, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management employees joined the Society to dig and rotivate the allotment, build three raised planting beds, erect a shed and fence off the area.”
“It was a lot of hard work for everyone involved, but the end result was worth the effort and we hope it will prove a great boost to the Manx Blind Welfare Society.”
Ian Cooil, Chief Executive of the Manx Blind Welfare Society, said: “The allotment was gifted to the Society by a visually impaired lady from Douglas. Our ambition was to use the allotment used to highlight three strategic areas of our work. The first is inclusion, addressed through the creation of a sensory area, the second is independence, which could be achieved by assisting members to grow their own vegetables, and the third is the issue of eye health, which would be raised by growing vegetables which are beneficial for the eyes.”
“In order to achieve this aim, a lot of work was requireD. We are greatly indebted to the Barclays Wealth and Investment Management team who gave up a Saturday in the cold winter weather to help us turn out ambitions into a reality.”
Mr Cooil also thanked Ross Cain Plant Hire, which provided earth-moving equipment for the day free of charge.