Discovery house hosts charity garden party

Discovery’s Vesuvio house has hosted a summer garden party for charity.

The event was masterminded by Support Worker Beverley Stevens in aid of a new flower patch to attract butterflies and bees, which people who live there particularly like. The total raised was £61, which will now be used to buy new plants and shrubs.

Those who attended were also asked to bring donations for the local foodbank – with the total able to feed 8-12 families for a week.

Garden patch
The garden patch for renovation

Guests were treated to a day of barbecuing, a raffle, lawn games, sports, lively conversation and lovely weather. Those in attendance included people supported by Discovery and staff from all over Somerset.

Event organiser Beverley Stevens said: “Yasmine [Locality Manager] and I had a supervision about nine months ago and decided to put on another event after the success of our previous efforts for Macmillan Cancer Support. We enjoyed raising money and having such fun the first time that we decided to do it all again.

“This time we raised money for a garden fund for the people we support, as well as asking for donations of food for the local food bank.

It feels like we are doing our own little bit

Beverley Stevens

“The garden idea stems from seeing people we support really enjoying seeing butterflies and bees come into their garden. We thought that if we got a gardener to develop a patch of the garden which they like to sit in, we could attract more wildlife and make it a more pleasant place.

“It feels like we are doing our own little bit to help the environment we all live in, too.

“We felt another aspect of this would be to ask guests to bring edible donations for the local foodbank.”

Beverley also organised a wishing tree for everyone to share wishes and invite others to help them to come to fruition.

When told about the event, housing association Live West (who own the property) provided extra furniture for the garden party, for which the staff and people we support are clearly grateful.

People playing skittles
People play skittles at the party

Locality Manager Yasmine England said: “It was all Beverley. When I first started in this role we had a very successful MacMillan coffee morning. It was the first time that we invited lots of visitors, and it went from there.

“Bev is absolutely fabulous and is constantly creating things. She planned all of the brilliant activities. She is really creative and takes command on things and I support her.

“Bev wanted to make the garden look lovely, so we are raising money for that. Also for the foodbank – to do our bit.”

Bev is absolutely fabulous and is constantly creating things

Locality Manager, Yasmine England

The people who live at Vesuvio are a real part of their community. Locals know the people who live in the house by their names. They often meet on walks in the local countryside or at the nearby site of an historic battle and stop for a chat.

Beverley said: “We are always networking. Yasmine and I are determined to put Vesuvio on the map and show people the fantastic work that we do. I really believe you just need a positive attitude and anything can happen.

Overall, it was really well organised and the staff team all worked hard to make it happen on the day.”

Doing their bit

Two representatives from the local Bridgwater Foodbank, Manager Phil Jarman and Dora Hinkley, donated wine for the raffle, as well as accepting donations of food on behalf of the foodbank.

Foodbank representatives at Vesuvio
Local foodbank representatives donate raffle prizes to Support Worker Beverley Stevens (centre)

The pair first met Bev when, along with her friends and family, she donated lots of food to the foodbank for a major birthday.

Foodbank Manager Phil Jarman said: “The work being done by the people at Discovery is massive. We deal with people who have social and mental health issues who are living on very little and they struggle. We are there to give them support.

Dora Hinkley, also representing the food bank, said: “We have got to say a big thank you to Bev and Discovery for supporting us and our work. It is people like that that allow us to keep going.”

Keep up the great work, guys!