KidsOut Volunteers transform Southampton Refuge Garden

In May 2019, KidsOut arranged for a team of volunteers to transform the outdoor area of3 Southampton Women’s refuge into a fun and safe space for disadvantaged children to relax and enjoy themselves.

The team of fourteen volunteers was made up of representatives from local business and companies – Barratt Homes, Mackoy Ltd, Portsmouth Carpentry, and Borderland Fencing – who all generously gave up their time to rejuvenate the refuge’s garden. The day involved completely clearing the space as well as extensive landscaping.

The new garden was unrecognisable after the day’s work, with the installation of brand-new features including decking, fencing, AstroTurf, and a shed. Living in refuge can be a difficult and frightening experience and it is hoped this new garden will allow disadvantaged children escaping domestic violence in the Southampton area to enjoy a safe space and forget about their worries.

“As an established member of the Southampton community, we’re always on the lookout for worthy local causes to support,” said one of the volunteer gardeners, Barratt Homes Southampton managing director, Jon Green. “KidsOut is a vital local resource – working to remind children and thousands of others living with disadvantages what it is like to just have fun. It was a tiring day and we all had a few aching bones, but it was an absolute pleasure doing what we could to help.” Barratt Southampton have supported KidsOut for just over six years in hosting local corporate networking events, with the 2018 Southampton Question of Sport Gala Dinner raising over £64,000 for the charity.

Michael Mayock, managing director of Mackoy, added: “What an amazing day working with Barratt Homes and other fantastic subcontractors. A few aches today after working on the tools with the other directors who grafted all day. We’re proud to be helping with KidsOut. It’s been a great effort and final result for the centre in Southampton – everything ran like clock-work.”

An employee of the Southampton Refuge said: “I literally do not know where to start in thanking everyone involved in the transformation of the garden. The children were so excited they looked like they were going to burst. All the women here love it and are so grateful. Volunteers like these truly make a difference to the lives of children who are forced to leave their family homes. Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every person who took part.”

KidsOut would like to thank all the volunteers who took part in this amazing work. Projects like this are just one aspect of KidsOut’s work with disadvantaged children in the Southampton area. The charity provides regular positive experiences for local vulnerable children through services such as Fun Days and Toy Box. The KidsOut Southampton Question of Sport Gala Dinner is a major fundraiser for the area, inviting local companies to attend and raise vital funds for children in Southampton. Click here to find out more.

Before and after KO

Quotes originally published on the Barratt Homes Community Projects website.