Giving a spring face-lift to the garden of the dementia home in Bridgwater where his father has been living for the past year was the activity of choice for specialist fibre engineer, Andrew Chaplin and 10 of his colleagues for their spring volunteer day.

Andrew’s dad Mike is a resident at Avalon Nursing Home, and Andrew said he knew the staff there would really appreciate the support of a willing team of volunteers – courtesy of Openreach’s community engagement programme – to help prep their outdoor area to make it ready for use as soon as the sun starts shining again.

Andrew said: “It felt really good to contribute something practical that would be appreciated by the amazing team at Avalon, because every time I visit I am so impressed by their dedication and the way they look after my dad and the residents.“

The Openreach volunteers began by clearing the car park and patio of the moss and debris that accumulates over winter, and then got stuck into painting the pergola, securing the gate, and cleaning the tables.

Avalon’s activities co-ordinator, Lisa Priddice, said: “They had a busy day and all did a fantastic job, and we are so grateful to them for choosing to spend their volunteer day working at Avalon.

“Our residents enjoyed watching the team at work: now they can’t wait to get back outside themselves and paint pallets that have been put on the walls for use as planters.

“Andrew and his colleagues were all so friendly and eager to help, and we were delighted to hear they’d like to come back and visit to do more.”

Avalon has an active gardening team made up of staff, residents and family members who regularly get together when the weather allows, to enjoy the therapeutic and social benefits of gardening. Many of the residents have been keen gardeners all their lives.

The Avalon gardening team is undertaking a sensory garden project which will run throughout out the year, improving the space to make it better suited to residents’ needs, and Lisa would be happy to hear from any member of the local community who might like to contribute in any way on 01278 450450.

Avalon Nursing Home is run by specialist dementia care provider Camelot Care who also run homes in Plymouth, Wellington and Yeovil