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A potted surprise for Mother’s Day

Retirement Living Care Services Volunteer Wellbeing Connectedness

There was a wonderful potted gift for our mothers in the Illawarra, Sydney, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and ACT on Mother’s Day this year, thanks to Greenacres IRT Community Connect program.

16 August 2021
Greenacres supported employee Tim McGovern is part of the Community Connect program and enjoyed being involved in the Mother's Day project.
“We are very grateful that they’ve put their efforts into growing these plants as gifts for the many mothers living at IRT sites.”
Patrick Reid

The Greenacres IRT Community Connect gardening crew delivered more than 1200 pot plants as surprise Mother’s Day gifts to IRT retirement village residents in the Illawarra, Sydney, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and the ACT, in the week leading up to the special day in May.

From November last year the Greenacres gardeners worked with IRT Facilities Management to propagate the plants with cuttings sourced from IRT aged care centre gardens in the Illawarra. The plants included geraniums, succulents, money plant, pig face, fire stick and coleus.

The group of seven Greenacres gardeners have been receiving gardening training from IRT Facilities Management employees for the past two years as part of the Greenacres Community Connect program, which provides training opportunities for people with disability. They’ve learned basic gardening and land care skills, how to use lawn mowing equipment, and have been involved in the garden design and planting at IRT Five Islands and Kemira at IRT Kanahooka.

When COVID-19 restrictions impacted the group’s ability to tend to IRT’s aged care centres’ gardens, the group members turned their attention to propagating the 1200 plants for Mother’s Day.

IRT CEO Patrick Reid says the Greenacres IRT Community Connect gardening program is a great example of two community-based not-for-profits working together to benefit both organisations and the people of the Illawarra. “Before COVID our residents really enjoyed it when the Greenacres gardeners came to IRT sites and worked their magic on our gardens,” he says. “We are very grateful that they’ve put their efforts into growing these plants as gifts for the many mothers living at IRT sites.”

Greenacres supported employee Nathan Jeffery with the pot plants.

The project stretched beyond the work of just the Greenacres gardeners as their workmates at Greenacres Enterprises also pitched in, decorating 1200 terracotta pots for the plants and crafting handmade cards.

Former Greenacres General Manager Heather Marciano says it’s been wonderful to see everyone’s enthusiasm for the project. “Participants from right across Greenacres have been contributing, including decorating the pots and tending to the plants,” she says.

Nathan Jeffery, who is part of the Greenacres gardening crew, is proud of what he and his friends have achieved alongside the IRT Facilities Management employees. “It’s been a great project, we have learnt so much like how to propagate plants and what kind of soil to use,” he says. “I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it.”

Nathan and the rest of the Greenacres gardeners were excited for the pot plants to be delivered.

Thanks to Greenacres for the great photos.

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