EDF Energy team create secret garden for young people with autism in Sunderland

EDF Energy's Philip Cockburn and the North East Autism Society's Paul McCairns with the company's Helping Hands team in front of the wall dedicated to their hard work.
EDF Energy's Philip Cockburn and the North East Autism Society's Paul McCairns with the company's Helping Hands team in front of the wall dedicated to their hard work.
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WORKERS dug deep to create a secret garden for a Wearside young persons’ charity.

Philip Cockburn and other green-fingered helpers from EDF Energy, which is based at Doxford International Business Park, took part in their company’s Helping Hands scheme, to transform the North East’s Autism Society’s base in Thornholme Road. In just four sessions the team of customer service advisors removed all the over-grown shrubbery at the site and replaced it with an open space for the residents to enjoy, including relaxation areas and a sensory garden.

Paul McCairns, who works in corporate partnerships for the North East Autism Society, said: “The team from EDF Energy carried out a real-life ‘extreme makeover’ on our grounds.

“The different areas created and the plants used have been designed to appeal and stimulate the senses of our residents and visitors.

“We would never have thought that it could look like this, and it couldn’t have been achieved without the Helping Hands of EDF Energy.”

Mr Cockburn, who led the fourth session, said: “We are really proud of this particular project because of the difference it will make for those who rely on the North East Autism Society, and the people that help and volunteer for them too.”