A team of Siemens Mobility volunteers based at Shields Depot in Glasgow has partnered with WellChild, on the Helping Hands project to transform the outdoor space for a local family. Over two-days they transformed a back garden making it a fun, safe space for eight-year-old Elsie who suffers from Trichothiodystrophy, crucially the team made the garden accessible.
During the intense two-days the volunteers built a new shelter and mud-kitchen for Elsie in her garden in Glasgow. One of the main aims of the garden transformation was to ensure the space was safe and accessible as well as providing a stimulating and fun outdoor space that Elsie and her family could enjoy.
WellChild's Helping Hands project actively collaborates with corporate volunteers to create safe, accessible, and sensory gardens and bedroom spaces for children and young people with complex health needs. The collaboration between Siemens Mobility and WellChild is a great example of how volunteers can help the local community and really make a difference.
Reflecting on the experience, Elliot Davies, a Higher Apprentice at Siemens Mobility, said: "I really enjoyed my time volunteering and creating a new outdoor space for Elsie. It was also nice to meet other Siemens Mobility employees that I wouldn't normally meet, along with the staff at WellChild and Elsie and her parents, who were both really happy with the shelter and the mud kitchen."
Helping Hands Administrator Celia Amodeo said, "It was great working with Siemens Mobility volunteers on this very ambitious project, and what they created in two days is a fantastic achievement. Helping Hands projects like this really do make a difference to people's lives, and support from volunteers and companies such as Siemens Mobility make it possible for us to offer this vital work to children with complex care needs and their families."
The volunteers began by clearing and levelling the uneven ground, followed by constructing a timber sleeper frame and infilling it with compacted sub-base material. They then laid artificial grass on top and erected an overhanging pergola. In addition, they replaced a large area of paving stones with outdoor soft play mats and built a mud kitchen, which they painted and equipped with solar-powered lighting. These adaptations will enable Elsie to access the garden, promoting her physical and emotional well-being while enabling her to create cherished memories with her family.