Charities and bank join forces to transform veterans' garden

A charity and corporate volunteers are set to transform the garden at Scottish War Blinded's Linburn Centre in Wilkieston, West Lothian.

Volunteers make a start clearing the walled garden
Volunteers make a start clearing the walled garden

The walled garden was once highly productive but yhad become very overgrown after it was not used for some time. Charity Cyrenians, which supports homeless people, is working with the Scottish War Blinded, also a charity, and staff from bank JP Morgan, who will volunteer time over two years to make the garden a valuable outdoor space for blind or partially-sighted military veterans.

Chief executive of Scottish War Blinded and Royal Blind Richard Hellewell said: "The walled garden is a special space, but its size and its overgrown state meant that we have not been able to tackle the job ourselves. With the expertise of the Cyrenian staff and the hard work of JP Morgan’s volunteers we are now able to look forward to seeing it transformed."

The project also aims transform the garden into a productive space, to grow fresh produce for sale in vegetable bags. The food grown here will be used by the Cyrenians Farm enterprise project based in nearby Kirknewton, which is also a community for young people with a background or risk of homelessness, and allow the scheme to be extended across Edinburgh. The proceeds will go towards Cyrenians’ work with the vulnerable and excluded.

Cyrenians chief executive Ewan Aitken said: "This is a unique collaboration between the private sector and two charities coming together to create something very special. Not only will the fruits of the volunteers’ labour go towards supporting the work of Cyrenians, but the veterans at the Linburn Centre will have a beautiful growing space for relaxation and enjoying the outdoors along with the staff from JP Morgan."

Murray Bremner, managing director at JP Morgan’s Edinburgh operations said the project was fantastic and had created a lot of excitement among staff.



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