Volunteers overhaul the gardens of Melton

Voluntary Action Melton gardening service co-ordinator Chris McCluskey and charity volunteers Tracy Priestley and Laura Hickin with grateful client Elizabeth Lieper, of Scalford EMN-150619-112346001
Voluntary Action Melton gardening service co-ordinator Chris McCluskey and charity volunteers Tracy Priestley and Laura Hickin with grateful client Elizabeth Lieper, of Scalford EMN-150619-112346001
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Dozens of elderly and disabled people in Melton borough are benefiting from the work of a team of gardening volunteers.

Chris McCluskey runs the scheme as part of Voluntary Action Melton.

He and his rota of dedicated volunteers have transformed household gardens across the borough from overgrown eyesores to places of real beauty.

One satisfied customer is disabled Sandy Lane resident Elizabeth Leiper, who wrote to the Melton Times to tell us about how the team had helped her.

“I love my garden but I can’t do it anymore and that makes me both depressed and anxious,” said Mrs Leiper.

“The results of the two visits I have had so far (from Voluntary Action Melton) are fantastic.

“It is a wonderful service they’re providing and my life would be bleak without them.”

Chris McCluskey, who co-ordinates the gardening scheme, said: “Mrs Leiper’s garden was a nightmare when we started - it was so overgrown but we have managed to do a lot of work on it and it now looks good.

“I love to see the smile on her face when we leave at the end of the day - it gives you a nice feeling.”

Chris has been working with the scheme for five years.

Customers are now charged £40 a visit since the charity lost its local authority funding but they can get up to eight volunteers working on their garden for two hours.

Chris said: “I’ve got about 72 gardens on my books and a lot of those we go back to year after year to work on them.

“I have had lots of letters over the years and it’s nice to have your work recognised.”

Anyone who would like to have help with their garden can email chris@voluntaryactionmelton.org.uk or call 01664 483043.