Essex charities work together to make wheelchair-friendly planters for recovery centre

Image: Lily Chambers

Staff from Essex Wildlife Trust spent the day at Help for Heroes’ Colchester Recovery Centre, Chavasse House on Thursday, teaching beneficiaries to make wildlife planters for the centre’s garden.

This workshop was part of an ongoing partnership between Essex Wildlife Trust and Help for Heroes. Since 2016, the two charities have worked together on various projects including the installation of wildlife-friendly features in the grounds of the Help for Heroes’ centre.

The materials used for the planters were provided by Essex Wildlife Trust, having previously been sustainably harvested from their nature reserves as part of ongoing woodland management. This wood now has a new lease of life in the garden at Chavasse House, providing a strong base from which a variety of herbs can grow, benefiting pollinators, local veterans and the kitchen at the recovery centre.

Essex Wildlife Trust is immensely proud of the partnership with Help for Heroes. We continue to draw on the strengths of both charities to deliver benefits for wildlife and people across Essex. 

Help for Heroes workshop

The partnership between the charities focuses on encouraging Help for Heroes beneficiaries and their families to join in with activities in the natural environment and to undertake practical conservation projects. The projects form part of the beneficiaries’ recovery programme whilst also supporting Essex Wildlife Trust in protecting wildlife throughout the county.

The planters enhance the look of the garden and proved to be an effective recovery activity. Not only did it enable the Help for Heroes veterans to get out in the fresh air with those who may be experiencing similar issues, but it also taught them a new skill which hopefully will boost confidence.

Help for Heroes workshop