volunteers from GE Aviation (Hamble) and BAA Southampton Airport
have been working on the GreenHouse . . . here's some background
QE2 Activity Centre was set up in 1978 to provide adventure
activities, like canoeing and climbing, for people with disabilities.
About eighteen months ago we added a new string to our bow, setting up a
day service for adults with learning disabilities. This uses "green"
activities including running an allotment, gardening, woodland
management and recycling together with more mainstream activities, like
cooking and shopping, to help people develop both work and independent
living skills. The project has been able to develop more quickly because
of the support of a number of companies - international, national and
GE Aviation (Hamble) have provided volunteer labour to clear ground, lay
foundations and erect a greenhouse. Paul Willis, from GE, said "GE are
committed to helping the local community. I've lived in this area all my
life and am really pleased to be able to give something back."
GreenHouse project co-ordinator Lynda Lee added "the greenhouse will
make a terrific difference to the project and the Green Team members
can't wait to get started growing winter veggies. We really appreciate
the support given to us by the local community - especially GE Aviation
at Hamble and HEWEB." GE Aviation (Hamble) staff have also been busy
converting stables to create a large workshop and donating a work bench.
Having won an internal award for other volunteering in the community
they donated it back to the QE2 Activity Centre to pay for electrical
work to make the workshops usable.
In January BAA Community Trust made a generous donation to the Centre
which will enable the GreenHouse to move into its own building. Jan
Halliday from Southampton Airport said “The new building is going to
be a significant addition to the already fantastic facilities at the
centre, and will fit in wonderfully with its surroundings." But
that's not all, she continued “We’re planning on being hands-on with
some elements of its construction, with a staff volunteering day, and
look forward to seeing it finished later in the year.”
And thanks to the support of local building company Foreman Homes the
Centre is going to be able to make the donation go even further. Foreman
Homes, who have already carried out work improving the Centre's holiday
accommodation, donating time and materials, have taken the project on.
Their involvement has already resulted in plans being drawn up (at no
cost) and survey work being carried out. By the end of Diamond Jubilee
year we are expecting the Green Team to move into their new building.