Work to transform the garden areas at a Leicestershire mental health unit has been boosted thanks to support from a team of volunteers at Central England Co-operative.

The band of 15 managers and colleagues from the retailer’s Food Stores across the county took time out from their day jobs to build, paint, plant and weed in the garden areas at the Bradgate Mental Health Unit at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

The group were delighted to offer their support to Raising Health – the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust charity – and their Let’s Get Gardening project which aims to transform the outdoor spaces at the Unit.

Christopher Wright, Operations Manager at Central England Co-op, who was among the volunteers, said: “Despite the pouring rain the team had a great day and hopefully we have helped the project make a huge step forward. During the day we helped move a greenhouse to enable the Unit to utilise a new space, as well as doing some planting, weeding and painting.

“Central England Co-op has a long-term commitment to raising awareness about mental illness and working hard to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health. Therefore supporting Bradgate Mental Health Unit and this fantastic project felt like a really great cause to get behind and we were happy to do our bit.”

Ultimately it is hoped the Let’s Get Gardening project will transform the outdoor spaces at the Unitwhich have been unloved and not suitable for patient use. A therapeutic sensory garden will be developed, as well as a plant nursery and vegetable plot installed for patients to learn how to grow and care for plants and to use what is grown to improve the ward gardens.

Sam Wilson, from the Let’s Get Gardening project team at the Bradgate Unit, said: “We are delighted and grateful that the team from Central England Co-op have once again given so freely of their time,  skills and enthusiasm to help us take a step nearer to realising our vision for the gardens at the Bradgate Unit.

“Patients will be reaping the benefits of their contribution through the seasons to come, by benefiting from the transformed surroundings and therapeutic opportunities our new gardens will provide.”




Notes to editors

Picture caption: The group of volunteers from Central England Co-op who helped out on the Let’s Get Gardening project at Glenfield Hospital.

About Central England Co-operative
Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, travel shops, and property investment.

Central England Co-operative has over 400 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland,
Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The Society has an ambitious food store development programme for 2019.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility. It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence. The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing or visiting

For more information visit, follow Central England Co-operative on
Twitter: @mycoopfood, and on Facebook:

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 421390
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