More than 12 IP17GNS volunteers helped Warden’s Trust, the Hall, gardens and accommodation on Sizewell cliff prepare for 2021 visitors.
‘The centre has been shut for 15 months,’ explains Bev Levett, who manages Wardens Hall. ‘Many of our volunteers were elderly and our handyman has retired, so the centre had been left without any maintenance help. The thing about Wardens is that it takes the full impact of the weather and there’s a lot that needs fixing and maintaining before the season can begin.’
The volunteers from IP17GNS helped out at Wardens every day for the best part of two weeks. As well as fixing and painting fences, making repairs, decorating and gardening, they had a wonderful time working together in the fresh air.
‘It was a great experience for all of us, despite the weather,’ says Terry Barrow, one of the IP17GNS volunteers. ‘We were able to make a real difference to a fantastic facility and have a great time while we did it.’
Warden’s has traditionally offered holiday facilities for people who have physical or mental impairments. In the last few years, it’s expanded what it offers and now provides a cliff top venue for camping, and events like weddings, funerals, birthday celebrations. The great thing is that Wardens is fully accessible, should you need it.
‘We haven’t yet been able to start our lunch clubs which were really popular with elderly people locally and those who were feeling isolated. We also had bath days for people who could no longer get in the bath at home. They were a good way for people to have a chat over a cup of tea when they’d had their bath. Hopefully, we’ll be able to start them again soon along with our fish and chip dinners.
Coronavirus has had a major impact on venues like Wardens because they no longer have access to the volunteers that have kept them going.
‘We used to have regular help from the Cubs and Brownies or teams from Sizewell but they have all stopped over the years. I hope that we can arrange regular help from IP17GNS because I think it could be a good thing for everyone.’
‘We genuinely enjoyed supporting Wardens,’ says Terry Barrow, ‘It’s an amazing facility and a good thing for everyone in our part of Suffolk.’