“Last year, Red House closed its doors for the final time. The teams and their customers moved to Marylands Wellbeing Hub, Colchester and from 15thSeptember 2014 were known as ‘Redlands’ to commemorate the wonderful years at Red House and the coming together with Marylands.
Through this joining, new teams came together and we now have the Redlands Catering team, Horticulture Team and the Administration team.
The last 12 months have seen many changes and we thought we would let ECL know how we’ve got on.
The kitchen was up and running at Redlands as soon as we moved in and the staff and customers settled really quickly. We produce on average 25 meals a day to a very high standard and the customers seem to really enjoy their time in the kitchen.
The kitchen has received positive feedback from the customers at Marylands about the food and the service. All of the customers have shown great progress since starting in the Redlands kitchen and are happy to work in the kitchen or café according to the rota. The team works very hard and the day is enjoyable for all.
The garden at Marylands took a bit more work but with a bit of elbow grease and with the arrival of the new poly tunnels, the produce and the working relationships really started to blossom!
The garden nurtured by the Monthind caretakers, allowing the customers in the horticulture group to get (their shovels and spades) stuck in as quickly as possible.
The garden was separated into two sections and we added two greenhouses and a large shed where customers can now go to change into their overalls and boots. We have a functioning rest area where the customers can take their morning break or run for shelter if the heavens open!
We have since constructed many raised beds from sleepers and recycled planks of wood. These have proven to be very successful both in the field and in the two large poly tunnels.
We so happy to tell you all that our first harvest has been surprisingly good! We’ve grown so many tomatoes so we will be making chutney to send to the other centres.
Most of meals are prepared with our home-grown produce and we have even built compost bays which will soon result in our ‘home made compost’. Many fruit trees and bushes have also been planted making a mini orchard that should provide us with healthy treats for many years to come.
All of our customers are enjoying the ‘fruits of their labours’.
We are now meeting to discuss what vegetables and flowers we will plant over the next year. We also have many landscaping projects in the pipeline so watch this space!”