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Abbeyfield House ‘Outstanding’ Winners

What a wonderful night we had at last night’s Keynsham in Bloom Awards presentation evening.  Firstly, a town very dear to our hearts – Keynsham – was presented with a GOLD award for the wonderful work of the town’s volunteers over the last year.  In addition, Abbeyfield House, our supported living home in Keynsham, received a Level 5 Outstanding for its beautiful blooms and upcycling in the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition AND a gold award in the Keynsham in Bloom Community Group Category.

House manager, Charlene Fleck, attended the ceremony, along with volunteers from the house, who were able to collect the awards with her. “We love taking part in Keynsham in Bloom every year. Our garden is such an important part of our community at the house.  Last year, we weren’t able to allow gardeners into the garden for many months during lockdowns.  I think from April, some of our volunteers were able to come back but they’d come at 7am so they wouldn’t bump into any residents. They really were stars”, says Charlene of her dedicated team of volunteers.

“Sue Hopkins, a long-term friend and volunteer of Abbeyfield House, would take the hanging baskets away and make them from her own home to cut down on the time she spent near the house.  Our neighbour, Jim, was amazing and planted up lots of bedding for the residents to enjoy, and Tony and Sylvia have been helping the house for 30 years. I don’t know what we’d have done without them over this last 18 months. Our volunteers and team members, who also worked very hard, really do deserve this award”.

For the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition, the theme was ‘upcycling’.  Staff member, Julie, had fun recycling old catering tins into hanging baskets, and Charlene bought a BBQ from a charity shop, and grew red and orange flowers inside it that looked like flames.

“The residents helped throughout the year with dead-heading and watering, but mostly, they just enjoy the garden”, continues Charlene. “It’s a wonderful space. The circular shape meant it was a safe walking route for residents during the pandemic.  They love the mixture of plants and the raised beds mean they don’t have to bend down to tend to the plants”.



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