Ford: Driving Change at the Farm

On Thursday 14th June, sixteen Ford workers took time out of their busy work schedules to come and spend a day volunteering at Sutton Bridge Farm.

The group, many of whom have already attended another corporate volunteering day at the farm, arrived ready to make a difference to the lives of the adults with disabilities who help maintain the farm, the staff there, and all those who visit!

All these busy workers and dedicated volunteers were informed of all the major tasks at Sutton Bridge Farm and then separated out into three groups.

The largest of the groups spent much of the day revamping our two display sheds, showing off gardening and work tools and kitchen implements that are over a hundred years old.  Covered in cobwebs, the first thing they needed to do was dust them both down, inside and out!  There were clouds of dust billowing out and the bristles of the brushes were wrapped in cobwebs.

With the dust and cobwebs gone, these dutiful volunteers got straight down to painting the exterior of the sheds, giving them both a fresh face and protecting the wood from the heat of the summer sun.  One shed, designed to look like an everyday Edwardian kitchen, required a little extra work.  The tired white paint needed replacing and is now a stunning yellow – perfect for the summer!  The kitchen tools were also given a fresh coat of paint to hide the rust after being open to the elements.

When these sheds were beautiful and drying in the hot summer sun, this group separated and joined one of the two others, who had been working just as hard throughout the day.

One group was working in a fruit enclosure by various vegetable patches and a very vocal rooster.  Although they had been digging deep into the earth to remove the weeds, and hopefully stop them from growing back, they seemed to despise removing the bell vine most of all.

Winding itself around the enclosure, the bell vine had a tight grip on the metal fence.  Imagine the vice-like hold it would have had on the roots of our blackberry, gooseberry, and raspberry bushes!  But the staff and adults with disabilities who work at the farm may not have to deal with that in quite a while!  These wonderful Ford volunteers ripped the strangling weed from the fence and dug up as many of the roots as they could.  Our fruit bushes now have a chance to breathe again and work their delicious magic.

The last group was working in the Hydrotherapy Pool car park.  Unfortunately, they had to commandeer a lot of the spaces to work, but it was all worth it in the end!  They neatened the flower bed next to the waiting room, taking two hours to dig up every weed in sight and to unwind bushes from more bell vine!  That stuff gets everywhere!  With it gone, our bushes should remain free to grow strong and look tidier for longer.

Then they moved onto the wall of trees and bushes that cover two side of the car park.  As it turns out, these had started encroaching on the parking spaces!  In one area, there was a particularly large chuck missing thanks to these fast growing trees.  If you visit the Hydrotherapy Pool in the next few days, you will be able to see that they have managed to make about a foot more space on these two sides!

We are sending a massive thank you to all these volunteers, who laboured so diligently at Sutton Bridge Farm all day and made it beautiful for all those who will visit!  It is always to have Ford employees come along and help out at our services and we all had an amazing time.

We hope to see you again soon!

We keep our supporters informed of how our volunteers are doing throughout the day.  If you are interested in following the improvements corporate volunteers make to our services for children and adults with disabilities, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.