Bringing Martha Trust’s sensory garden back to life

After raising almost £6,000 for local charity Martha Trust, our Robertsbridge site team has transformed the sensory garden at the charity’s residential care home in Hastings.

Martha Trust provides lifelong inclusive care for people with profound physical and learning disabilities in Kent and East Sussex. After choosing Martha Trust as their charity partner, team members from our local Robertsbridge site visited Mary House to meet staff and residents at the care home. They discovered the patio needed urgent work to prevent trips and falls, and saw that a large part of the lawn was taken up by a broken trampoline.

With help from local contractors Riverline, the team renovated the garden and created an accessible route for residents and staff to enjoy it safely. Overgrown plants and foliage were also cut back so that residents can use areas that were previously inaccessible.

Close to the centre of Hastings and the sea, Mary House overlooks an area of outstanding natural beauty. Access to the outdoors is essential to residents’ wellbeing, and the sensory garden helps those with profound disabilities to relax and experience a rich variety of stimuli. This is an important part of the programme of therapeutic activities at Martha Trust.

Section Leader at British Gypsum, Ben Norton, was part of the team involved in the garden renovation. He said: "I'm so happy to have been part of the opportunity to help this amazing local charity.

“Seeing the residents outside using the gardens as soon as we had cut them back and cleared away all the waste left us all feeling that we had really made a difference and done something worthwhile. You can tell what it meant to everyone – not just at Martha Trust, but within our own team too.” 

As well as being involved in the garden project, Robertsbridge team members have held a number of fundraising activities for the charity including a Valentine’s Day raffle, cake sale, and a sponsored four-day Monte Carlo Madness event organised by Martha Trust. A member of the Robertsbridge team even represented the charity in the Virgin London Marathon.

Fundraising and Events Officer at Martha Trust, Kerry Banks, said: “On behalf of the residents and staff at Martha Trust, we are incredibly grateful to all at British Gypsum for choosing to support Martha in our 35th Anniversary year and are so excited that you have chosen to support our young people and adults with profound disabilities."

Tanya Young, Plant Manager at British Gypsum’s Robertsbridge site, has been leading the fundraising efforts. She said: “At British Gypsum, we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities living and working around our sites. It was great visiting Martha Trust in person and seeing the work they do to support the residents, which is clearly very complex. As a site, we are all extremely dedicated to doing what we can to assist such an important pillar in our community”.

You can find out more about our Building Better Communities scheme and apply for support here.