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Residents at a care home in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, can now look out from lockdown on a beautiful new landscaped garden, thanks to kind-hearted volunteers from Northern Gas Networks.

The garden was created for Manorcroft Care Home, Old Bank Road, on an area of disused land in front of the building.

10  employees from Northern Gas Networks, which provides the gas distribution service for the region, plus two relatives, spent two days creating the garden. The team, which dubbed itself ‘the dirty dozen’, used mini-diggers to clear the ground, then added landscaping, perennial plants, slate ground coverings and a fir tree centre piece. Suppliers for the business also pitched in with free materials.

For one of the volunteers – Richard Pape – who works as an emergency response engineer for Northern Gas Networks, the project was especially poignant. Richard’s Nanna, Caroline Pape, had been living at the care home, and died two days before the team began work on the garden. She did not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Northern Gas Networks will be installing a plaque at the garden in the coming weeks, to commemorate Caroline Pape.

Richard said: “It was brilliant to come together with my colleagues and create this garden for the residents – transforming an unloved, barren piece of land into a beautiful, flourishing garden in less than a week. The residents adore it and are looking forward to seeing it grow and change over the coming months.

“Losing Nanna made this project even more important for me and my family. It is a wonderful way for us all remember her.”

Annie Rose Thomson, a customer operations administrator for Northern Gas Networks, coordinated the project with the care home. She said: “Lots of colleagues from across our business have been volunteering in their local communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“Creating this garden was such a fulfilling experience for all of us. It has given the residents a lovely view to look out on, and a place they will be able to enjoy when the current health situation allows. We have even added a Christmas tree, grown by Richard’s dad, which can be decorated later in the year.”

Pauline Drzewiecka, Home Manager for Manorcroft Care Home said: “I would personally like to thank you for doing such a good job for Manorcroft residents who can enjoy the view of the beautiful nature. The Christmas tree is beautiful and will grow. Every Christmas we will decorate it nicely for our residents and think about Mrs Caroline Pape and her amazing family.”