John Lewis volunteer is perfect partner for Darwin Nurseries

Store worker's kindness will have result in major revamp at garden centre project

John Lewis volunteer is perfect partner for Darwin Nurseries
28 February 2014


A major facelift at Darwin Nurseries in Cambridge is underway – thanks to the kindness of a John Lewis worker.

David Leeves (pictured, far right) who works at the company’s store at the Grand Arcade has volunteered to lead a project which will transform the garden centre.

An experienced carpenter and cabinet maker, David is using his skills to build new raised flowers and vegetable beds which can be accessed by people in wheelchairs. He’s also installing a new summer house, fencing, signage and pathway.

Darwin Nurseries, in Newmarket Road, Teversham, is run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust and staffed by volunteers and those with learning disabilities.

David is spending two days a week at the garden centre after applying through the John Lewis Partnership Golden Jubilee Trust, a scheme in which colleagues from the retailer can spend time volunteering with a charity.

David, who works in the furniture department, said: “I have been coming to Darwin Nurseries with colleagues for half a day, once a month, for about five years just to offer some help. But I had wondered if there was something more I could do.

“When I found out what was needed I applied to the Golden Jubilee Trust and I am delighted to have been seconded here.

“The area where I’m working has looked a bit of a mess, but when it’s finished it will be great for the staff and, most importantly, it will attract more customers.”

Christine Millar, manager at Darwin Nurseries, (pictured, centre) with staff and volunteers Roger Timmins, John Baker and Jeff White, said: “We are all delighted that David is here. This work will transform this part of the site which is about 12 years old and really needs updating.

“We knew what we wanted to do – like installing wheelchair access - but we didn’t have a formal plan in place. Having David here has meant we’ve been able to use to his expertise and his labour to put everything into place.”

All the materials being used during the transformation are sustainable and the project should be finished at the end of May.

• Darwin Nurseries is one of three organisations John Lewis in Cambridge has chosen to support from now
until April. Customers will be asked to place a green token in support of one of the good causes. The more green tokens Darwin Nurseries receives, the bigger the donation the project will receive from the retailer.

For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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