THE West Wales Freemasons have helped bring life, light, colour and comfort to what was a sad and dreary garden at a home for people with mental health issues.
Until recently the front and rear garden areas were uninviting and uninspiring. With a generous donation from the West Wales Freemasons and a collaboration with Mencap Cymru the home now has a smart front garden with close cut lawns.
There are freshly painted black railings and newly cleaned paving slabs to be proud of. The transformation does not stop there. Where once there was a sorry looking uneven patch of ground to the rear of the property now stands a neat car parking area bordered by a secure wooden fence and gateway.
Upon entering the gate one is met with a kaleidoscope of colour from the walls, the furniture and of course the flowers. What is remarkable is that the tenants themselves Ron, Edmee, Barbara and Josepha played a major role in the design and choice of colour scheme and the selection of plants and furniture for the garden.
Where once stood old garden furniture on tired paving slabs surrounded by faded planters and an uneven patch of grass there now stand modern colourful chairs and an attractive wooden dining table. Sleepers form a raised bed housing a beautiful selection of plants providing a seating area for tenants and visitors.
There is a delightful wind powered garden feature designed by Philip Barton, a member of the St Elli Lodge, which contains a stained glass square and compass and a male figure cutting a square block with a stonemason's hammer and chisel.
The newly painted planters contain colourful flowers with freshly painted walls bouncing natural sunlight into a warm and welcoming courtyard. Solar lighting and a water feature provide the aesthetic mood changes as night falls and carefully placed mirrors provide additional glimpses of the garden, which was hailed as a great success by the CEO of Mencap Cymru at the official opening on Wednesday, June 23rd.
Present at the official opening were the CEO of Mencap, Edel Harris OBE, Wayne Crocker, Director Mencap Cymru, Head of West Wales Freemasons, James Ross, George Parker MBE and Nigel Murphy. A plaque has been installed, which denotes the contribution from the West Wales Freemasons, which amounted to £10,000 in total.
James Ross, Head of West Wales Freemasons said: "I am delighted that George Parker and the members of the St Elli Lodge brought this wonderful project to our attention. It is amazing what can be achieved by a relatively small amount of funding and lots of hard work."
Edel Harris, CEO Mencap UK said: "I would like to thank West Wales Freemasons for the money, because you can't do anything without money, but just as importantly for their support in delivering this wonderful garden for the tenants of Queen Victoria Road."
Director of Mencap Cymru Wayne Crocker praised the passion and commitment of St Elli Lodge members for securing this wonderful resource for the tenants at Queen Victoria Road and said that he looks forward to working with other lodges across Wales to deliver more growing spaces gardens.