More than a shelter: CENS’ green space

Karen is our volunteer gardener who dedicates her free time to the CENS garden. Find out why she decided to help CENS and how she hopes the garden will improve the residents wellbeing

 1) How did you get involved with CENS? 

When I was volunteering with Colchester Samaritans we supported CENS one Christmas and I have been interested in the work you do ever since. 

2) What is it about CENS that made you want to help? 

Homelessness has always upset me . It makes me angry that it is all too common. The Samaritans’ supported them on occasions, so when I left and subsequently joined Rotary Club in Colchester (which does a lot to support CENS), I was able to get involved more directly with helping CENS.  

3) What do you enjoy about gardening?  

I love gardening. My father was a Dutch nurseryman here in Colchester. I grew up amongst flowers and nature. I have always loved them and gardening is one of my favourite pastimes and pleasures.

4) What do you think the benefits for to residents? 

I hope it will give an area which is quiet and peaceful. A place to just sit and relax. It would be wonderful if it also gives them an interest in gardening, plants, flowers and insects.

5) Do you have any future plans for the CENS garden?

I shall visit it regularly, to see how everything is growing, try out other plants and generally keep it ‘alive and well’.

CENS Essential Shopping List

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Hot chocolate
  • UHT milk
  • Squash
  • Vgetable oil
  • Gravy granules
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • Stock cubes
  • Herbs and spices
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned/packet custard
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned vegetables & potatoes
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Jam, peanut butter, chocolate spread
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Men & women’s deodorant
  • Men’s razors
  • Shave gel
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Cloths
  • Scourers
  • Washing up liquid
  • Surface cleaners
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Bin bags
  • Food caddy liners
  • Loo roll
  • Washing tablets
  • AA batteries
  • NEW single duvets
  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • Single duvet covers/sheets
  • Clean/good condition towels

Please no soups!
Thank you