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Gardening services in partnership with a local charity proves highly successful

Published on 22 April 2021 02:29 PM



“(The) best thing I ever did in making contact with Age UK Reading and would encourage other people to do the same” – Pam Charles – Service User.

In the winter of 2019, before Covid 19 was plaguing our lives, Age UK Reading set up a new partnership with a local gardening business.  Melvyn had worked for the John Lewis Partnership and was part of the Partner Support team which assisted working and retired Partners. He decided to take early retirement in 2019 and wanted to start a small gardening business working a couple of days a week as he had always enjoyed gardening and had his own allotment. Melvyn has been volunteering at Age UK Reading as a Befriender for many years and has a good understanding of the issues facing older people, so Age UK asked if he would consider setting up the business in partnership as a “trusted” gardening scheme aimed at older people.

The service is run by Melvyn but operates in a partnership with Age UK Reading. He has agreed to abide by some of our key policies such as Safeguarding and confidentiality, and he has agreed to sign up to our complaints procedure, should there be any!

The service is priced at £20 per hour from which Age UK Reading receives £2 each time. We use a fixed transparent price so that people know exactly what they are paying for.

The service offers garden maintenance such as mowing, hedge trimming and weeding. Clients can also access further support from Age UK Reading via Melvyn, as we have included a system to confidentially pass questions or requests from Melvyn to our office.

Age UK Reading CEO Matt Taylor said “We ran this partnership as a pilot this year and we have been extremely pleased with the results. It is a great way for older people to access a trusted gardening service. This is a new way for us to support older people in the Reading Area.”

Age UK Reading will relaunch the partnership in Spring. It is almost at capacity so we are keen to talk to any other local gardening business who may wish to discuss the potential for partnership. 

If you are an enthusiastic gardener and would like to discuss becoming a partner please contact our office on 0118 950 2480 or