Operation Flower Power at TTC Group's Head Office
News Story | April 2021
TTC’s trio volunteer to revitalise outdoor communal space and create a garden for everyone to enjoy at TTC Group’s head office in Telford, Shropshire.
Operation Flower Power all started during March 2021, when staff were asked to volunteer their time over the next few weekends to help give some TLC to an outside seating area that had become overgrown and unfortunately was not being used to its full potential.
Headed up by Lauren Park, the brainchild behind Operation Flower Power, the volunteer project soon became a trio, with Philippa Davies and James Baggott enlisting to the cause, who started by getting the garden area cleared, tidied up and ready for some new colour and life.
Lauren commented: “I know we have all been stuck in lockdown for what feels like a lifetime now, so in light of the situation, I thought it would be a nice idea to get outside and connect with nature!”
“The plan of action is to keep what we can of the previous plants, to replant the ones that still have a life to live. But we will also have some new outdoor plants to plant in the garden. We really do need as much help as we can get to get this operation in motion and get the end result looking fantastic!”
So far, the gravel paths have been cleared of weeds, with several raised flower beds and even a pergola being reclaimed from overgrown bushes. Everything has been given a new lease of life, as well as a lick of paint to brighten up the area.
As well as making the area feel more inviting for people to get some fresh air or have lunch outside, the green fingered trio felt that the garden could also benefit everyone’s mental wellbeing. Looking back at how the Covid-19 pandemic has brought lots of people some of the darkest times in their lives, part of the garden has been turned into a rock garden, dedicated to anyone impacted by the pandemic.
Staff have been encouraged to write personal messages on stones to lay in the garden, offering little messages of hope during these trying times. This can be anything positive, such as a goal for 2021, something to achieve, give up or change this year, or anything else personally important or inspiring.
Phillipa commented: "We wanted to create a welcoming space to encourage staff outside for their breaks. The garden hadn't been touched for a long time and wasn’t looking at it’s best. So Lauren and I took on the challenge of bringing it back to life! Lots of cleaning, digging and some really tough weeding, then painting/edging with James' help and it is beginning to look far more inviting! The next steps are to add more plants, a bit more painting and then everyone will be invited to paint a rock to create our own special rock garden of memories of this past year!"
Lauren added: “This is something we can all look back on and remember, although Covid may not be a good memory, the lesson to learn is that we all went through so much together and all the love and support we have given each other is so admirable and more than I have ever experienced in any workplace. The strength we have mustered is truly overwhelming and it is so fantastic that in the lowest of lows we can pull together to lift each other up and make each other feel loved and supported.”
The team have asked for more volunteers to join in and help make sure that the revived garden space is kept on top of, especially as the weather continues to improve. All staff have also been asked for plant donations to help fill out the remaining space and to hopefully attract even more wildlife. TTC is funding replacement benches, which will provide much cleaner seating areas. Jason Briscoe and Luke Overton have already introduced some muscle to the garden by carrying bags of potting compost and repositioning some of the heavier wooden sleepers used in the raised flower beds.
TTC Group is committed to improving and caring for our local environment. Operation Flower Power is the latest staff initiative to help encourage more people to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, following previous initiatives to support our local wildlife, including the construction of bee and insect hotels, and the addition of new bird nesting boxes.