Staff from a leading bank took on a Groundforce-style challenge to help transform the gardens at Focus Birmingham.

The 12-strong team from Lloyds Bank changed out of their business clothes into gardening gear before equipping themselves with spades, forks, hoses and paint brushes.

The major transformation of Focus Birmingham’s two gardens at Harborne took place on April 7 as part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility – Make a Difference Day.

The welcome commitment consisted of the green-fingered staff from Lloyds Bank visiting Focus to carry out work on the gardens throughout the day.

Their combined challenge included a general tidy up, removing any rubbish or unwanted items, jet washing tiles, varnishing and painting garden furniture, removing some fencing, and planting a number of shrubs and other plants.

As well as the labour, Lloyds also bought around £250 worth of plants to help transform the Focus gardens.

Giles Wheeler, Relationship Manager SME Banking at Lloyds Bank, said: “It was fantastic weather and we had an excellent day. I believe that Focus were absolutely delighted with what we did.

“We tidied up the courtyard area, varnished and prepared all outdoor garden furniture for the year ahead, and put in around £250 worth of plants which we provided so service users have a nice, pleasant garden to enjoy, including a sensory garden area with aromatic plants.

We were looking for a deserving cause to send in a groundforce-type squad and Focus fitted the bill.”

Susan Hoath, CEO of Focus Birmingham, said, “We were utterly delighted to be selected by the wonderful team at Lloyds Banking Group to come and transform our outdoor space. Their enthusiastic hard work made a huge difference; clearing away the rubbish and the weeds, pruning back the overgrowth, planting the tubs and re-varnishing all the furniture.

Their efforts have transformed a tired and overgrown corner into a lovely sensory garden space, ready to be used as we head for warmer days – both for our service users in the day centre and to host community events.”

Focus provided a couple of skips for the rubbish and unwanted items to be collected in, and also served up refreshments on the day including lunch, tea and coffee.

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