Volunteers begin work on a wellbeing garden for staff at Havant Fire Station
VOLUNTEERS have helped kick-start preparations for a tranquil garden where fire service heroes can unwind after stressful and physically demanding call-outs.
Work on the wellbeing garden to the rear of Havant Fire Station, in Park Way, began yesterday thanks to staff at Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd.
Employees pulled weeds, painted walls, planted vegetables and pressure-washed pockets of filth outside the station to get the garden ready.
It is hoped the finished article will be a safe and reflective space where firefighters can chat, work and soothe their mental wellbeing.
Apollo digital marketer Daniel Hill, who works at the firm’s base in Brookside Road, Havant, was tasked to strip thick ivy from the garden’s walls.
The 29-year-old said: ‘It was really nice to be able to help out the team at the fire station – they do fantastic, literally life-saving work.
‘They see some pretty hefty stuff out in the field so this was about creating a place where they can take the time to unwind.
‘After the day a dozen of us spent at the station I can see what they’re getting at – it should be a nice, relaxing environment – the team at the station could not have been more pleased we were there.'
Apollo enlisted the help of its staff for the project as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.
The initiative and ones similar are taken on by private firms in a bid to contribute to the wellbeing of their immediate communities.
Havant Fire Station will take the project further, and bosses hope its completion will offer an on-the-job remedy for pressures faced by staff.
Brian Neat, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's group manager for Havant and East Hampshire, said: ‘The wellbeing of our staff is at the heart of everything we do, and with the help of our working party from Apollo Fire Detectors Ltd, we have begun work on a wellbeing garden for our firefighters.
‘Our firefighters deal with some of the most challenging situations imaginable and we are extremely focused on the impact this can have on their mental health.
‘This garden will provide a tranquil, safe and quiet area to talk, work or reflect.
‘This is part of a raft of work we do to help the wellbeing of our teams and emphasise it is okay not to be okay.’