Department Store’s Grassroots Alliance With Age UK

Wilkinson Cultivates Blooming Relationship With Elderly Persons’ Charity

The garden at Crossacres Resource Centre, Wythenshawe.
The garden at the Crossacres Resource Centre, after being carefully tended by the Crossacres Cultivators and team members from the Wythenshawe Wilko store. Photograph © 2014 Tangerine PR Ltd.

Many moons ago on East of the M60, you may have read our stories on Wythenshawe’s new Wilkinson store. You may have read about the Worksop based retailer’s work with community groups. This week, team members from the same branch on Etrop Court, have seen the fruits of their labours at a local community centre after donating £500 worth of gardening equipment. They have also given up their own time over the past two years through Wilko’s ‘Helping Hands’ scheme.

Crossacres Resource Centre, on Peel Hall Road, is home to Age UK’s Silver Service, which provides a wealth of activities for older people including computer classes, fitness sessions, craft clubs and a cinema.

Two years ago, the Wythenshawe Wilko store made a donation of gardening materials to help the centre with its roof garden. This inspired elderly members to set up their own gardening group – the Crossacres Cultivators – and they have been tending to the grounds of the centre ever since.

Today, the gardens of the Crossacres Resource Centre are now totally transformed and looking fantastic. However their nearby Wilko store is continuing to support the project.

The Wythenshawe store recently donated poppy seeds, gardening equipment and team members’ time to help transform the garden. This is to help the centre commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One, which takes place next year. The poppies will emerge and bloom in 2014 as a beautiful tribute.

Wilko’s Helping Hands scheme allows people in the Wythenshawe to apply to the store for a monetary donation, Wilko products or team members can volunteer their time, as they are also keen to roll up their sleeves to support neighbourhood developments.

Damian Jackson, store manager at the Wythenshawe Wilko, said: “When we visited the Crossacres Resource Centre a couple of years ago and learned they had lost their council funding, we knew we had to help however we could.

“I’m so pleased our store’s work has inspired the Crossacres Cultivators, and the gardens are looking absolutely amazing after all their hard work. We will carry on supporting the project however we can, and we’re looking forward to seeing the poppies bloom next year.”

Sally Dervan, care services manager at Age UK’s Silver Service, said: “Forming the Crossacres Cultivators has given our members a real sense of purpose as well as improving the appearance of our centre, so we’re really grateful for the continued support from Wilko in Wythenshawe.”

S.V., 08 January 2014.

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