A group of Sunderland workers have used their gardening skills to help create safe, attractive and welcoming outdoor areas for our pupils. 

The Helping Hands scheme from EDF Energy, based at Doxford International Business Park, pledged to transform the grounds of a number of sites across Sunderland in a yearlong project including Thornhill Park School. 

Volunteers ensured all over-grown shrubbery was taken away and replaced with open spaces for visitors and service users to enjoy.

Nathan Bruce, Volunteer Co-ordinator for NEAS, said: “The team from EDF Energy carried out a real-life ‘extreme makeover’ on our grounds, transforming over-grown areas into space that the children and young people can enjoy.

“The different areas created and the plants used will appeal to and stimulate the senses of our service users. The teams have done such a fantastic job, we can’t wait to start using the garden areas regularly. We would never have thought they could look like this, and it couldn’t have been achieved without the Helping Hands of EDF Energy.”

EDF Energy transforming the grounds at Thornhill Park School, Sunderland

The Helping Hands teams were each given a day to transform the gardens as part of the partnership, which has seen two-hundred hours donated to the society. Volunteers transformed the grounds carrying out a variety of tasks, including clearing the grounds, preparing turf, planting areas and painting fences.

Emma Shearer, Community Investment Specialist at EDF Energy, said: “Now that the gardens are complete the children and families can use the area to plant their own plants, have picnics and they will be able to enjoy the grounds safely.

“When we first saw the areas it seemed it would be one of the most difficult projects that the Helping Hands had been involved in, however all of the teams were up for the challenge and the results have been amazing.”

The EDF Energy’s Helping Hands projects are designed not only to benefit local people, they also provide personal development and team-building opportunities for staff.

For more information about our volunteering opportunities please contact:

Nathan Bruce on 0191 410 9974 or email [email protected]