Grantham volunteers and cadets transform garden

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A group of local army cadets joined forces with volunteers from The Friendly Bench to transform an elderly couple’s garden.

Lyndsey, who has lived in Bottesford for 15 years and is behind The Friendly Bench idea, said: “After the woman’s brother-in-law was diagnosed with life limited illness, the couple struggled to maintain their garden. What had once been a bit of respite for them was now causing a lot of distress.”

Lyndsey was joined by members of the Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force - Grantham Detachment, to help carry out the DIY SOS-style makeover at the end of last month.

They spent the day weeding and getting rid of the undergrowth. They also created a vegetable patch and relocated and reglazed the greenhouse complete with a gravel base.

Lyndsey added; “It is a great example of strangers pulling together for strangers. Like us, the cadets wanted to give something back to their community and help a good cause.”

Described as the first of its kind, the Friendly Bench was set up to tackle social isolation and loneliness with the help of a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. A mini kerb-side community garden will be created in Bottesford, aimed at bringing the elderly, isolated and those with restricted mobility together to chat and connect with nature. It will be officially launched on Sunday 25th March 2018.

Lyndsey added: “The bench was recently mentioned by Labour MP for Leeds West and Chair of the Business, Rachel Reeves, in her Westminster Hall debate on loneliness.”

If anybody would like to volunteer, contact Lyndsey on 07875 719849 or Caroline Arthur on 07900 473426. Visit