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Ripon charity praises volunteers and local businesses for Covid survival

Ripon Community Link has heaped praise on its volunteers and local businesses for helping them survive during the pandemic.

A Ripon charity has heaped praise on its volunteers and local businesses for helping them survive during the pandemic. Ripon Community Link is a leading provider of innovative day support services for Ripon people with learning difficulties. And the charity has received help by teams from Rudding Park, RAF Menwith Hill and Morrisons to allow them to continue their work during the pandemic and remain open. Local businesses have worked alongside regular volunteers, staff and members to enable the charity's woodland to remain open to the public, whilst also maintaining the Walled Garden and Victorian Orchard. Victoria Ashley, Ripon Community Link Chief Executive, said:

"The pandemic has posed enormous challenges, and we are particularly thankful that volunteering has remained a permitted activity during lockdown. "Our loyal volunteers have either attended the Garden to help ensure that it continues to be well maintained, or continued to support our Member activities at their homes or here, on site. "We are extremely grateful to our volunteers, individual and corporate alike, who are so generous with their time. They have brought with them skills we would otherwise need to pay for. Quite simply, we couldn’t afford or simply do.”
Volunteers have also supported staff and members to nurture and grow an array of bedding plants, hanging baskets, perennials, vegetables and herbs. All sales from the garden nursery, including produce from the Walled Garden, help pay for Ripon Community Link’s running costs. Victoria Ashley, Ripon Community Link Chief Executive, said:
"The pandemic has posed enormous challenges, and we are particularly thankful that volunteering has remained a permitted activity during lockdown. "Our loyal volunteers have either attended the Garden to help ensure that it continues to be well maintained, or continued to support our Member activities at their homes or here, on site. "We are extremely grateful to our volunteers, individual and corporate alike, who are so generous with their time. They have brought with them skills we would otherwise need to pay for. Quite simply, we couldn’t afford or simply do.”
Carolyn Sands, Chair of Trustees and Volunteer Co-ordinator, said:
"The huge benefits of volunteering also extend to the volunteers themselves. "For those who are isolated, in stressful day jobs or need a sense purpose and connection, being able to help others by continuing with their volunteer work in the beautiful Walled Garden has been a lifeline during these unsettling times."
James King, from Rudding Park, said:
"We have a strong charity partnership with Ripon Community Link and support them in many ways; from welcoming their members to enjoy the Golf at Rudding, to fundraising for them. "It seemed a natural progression that during lockdown, when many of our staff  were furloughed, to support the charity in the Woodland redevelopment. This has not only helped Ripon Community Link but has helped our staff stay connected, and enjoy the benefits of socially distanced safe contact, in such a beautiful environment."
The Walled Garden is open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am-4pm for visitors to enjoy the environment, wander through the Victorian Orchard and explore the newly opened Woodland environment. Ripon Community Link is always keen to welcome new volunteers to join its  friendly team. In particular, at present, it is seeking new volunteers to support in the Garden, undertake handyman jobs, and support its retail efforts. Further information about volunteering at Ripon Community Link can be had by emailing volunteers@riponwalledgarden.org Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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