Here at Yarnton Home and Garden we care. We care about many things but the most important of these is the community in which we are based. Yarnton Home & Garden was founded over 50 years ago as a plant nursery. It has undergone many changes over time, but one thing has not changed, its friendly atmosphere and its place in the heart of a close community. We know that without the support of our community we would not be here today.
We try to show our appreciation of our community not just by kind words but also by our actions – the charities we support, the help and expertise we offer local groups, and the fun and friendly place we try to be for locals to come and visit.
To show you what we get up to, below are some of the ways we helped our community last year:
Seeds for Schools campaign
We supported 100 plus local schools with free seeds, compost, and trays to help encourage children outside and growing. We then provided free information, tips, and advice to share the benefits to the environment and our health if we encourage children to have a go at growing.
RAF Brize Norton
We have supported RAF Brize Norton in many different ways over the years.
We have donated an extra-large Christmas tree for RAF for the last 2 years to be used as a tree of remembrance to allow the families of lost loved ones and those serving abroad that can’t be home for Christmas to write messages on the tree. An annual carol concert is based around the tree each year to raise money for the RAF benevolent fund.
We have also sponsored the RAF memorial gardens by providing plants, decorative ornaments, benches, pots, compost and labour to plant and maintain memorial gardens for the falling troops of Oxfordshire.
A Christmas for the homeless
We worked closely with the charity Aspire to serve a delicious and wholesome Christmas dinner for 60 homeless people and the volunteers that support them.
Oxfordshire Young Carers
We have raised money, provided free grotto and soft play sessions to allow this incredible group of young carers to be children. Our staff also go into the school, play games with the children, and have tea parties.
We show our support and donate to the Cherwell larder project.
Supporters of harvest@home Cherwell initiative, providing planted vegetable troughs, compost, and children’s growing packs.
During the refit of our café, we donated old furniture to The Porch day centre to enable them to expand their offering for those in need.
When our restaurant was placed into the national lockdown in March 2020, we diverted our chef team to The Porch so they could help prepare meals for the homeless, and also lending our own equipment during the difficult times.
Keeping Local Children Safe
We produced children’s high viz jackets for the local nursery to enable the children to leave the nursery and get out and about around the local village.
Sponsored the local football team to enable them to buy much needed new club kits.
We have donated a large selection of children’s toys and games to Domestic abuse sheltering families who were in shelter over Christmas.
Ley Community / work placements
We work closely with the Ley Community, providing rehabilitation placements for those members trying to re-enter main society, some of these people were once on the streets of Oxford and have former drink/drug addictions. We have several success stories that are now permanent members of our wonderful team.
We have provided work placements for the Oxford School for Special Needs, allowing them a chance to work alongside our team in a safe and caring environment.
We also provide work placements for Gosford School, Bicester Technology College, and Abingdon & Witney College.
COVID 19 Specific Support
Trees for Schools
Last year we decided the children had missed out on so much of the usual Christmas festivities we donated free Christmas trees to local Oxfordshire schools.
Supporting the NHS in Troubled Times
We introduced a discount scheme for NHS workers and enabled them some degree of normality in the haven of their gardens.
Introduced a free drink for any NHS/Police or fire in uniform during this difficult year.
We donated plants to NHS hospitals, and others were provided at very special rates to ensure that there was some joy in amongst all the gloom.
Keeping Play Going through COVID 19.
We worked tirelessly to produce the most amazing COVID secure children’s grotto so that all the children and families had some joy in their lives as we exited the second lockdown.
Additionally, we offered a small amount of complimentary sessions for SENs children and young adults so those who would not normally enter such environments had the opportunity to visit the grotto.
Keeping Our Locals Gardening
When we were closed to the public in March 2020, we decided to make it our purpose to keep the locals gardening. So we made sure that we safely delivered goods to local people who wanted to keep their minds and bodies active via gardening. We designed a wish list system so customers could phone and pay for their goods and then receive prompt delivery.
A Chair for Life for Nancy
Nancy is one of our oldest and most loyal customers when our café is operating, visiting us almost daily. When we refitted the café, we made sure we kept her favourite chair. We recovered it and made a cushion with her name on it, so it is permanently reserved for her.