A Greenacres gardening crew has surprised IRT residents in the Illawarra with a Mother's Day delivery.
This week, the Greenacres IRT Community Connect gardening crew are delivering more than 1200 pot plants as surprise Mother's Day gifts to IRT retirement village residents throughout NSW and the ACT.
This included visiting IRT Tarrawanna Garden Village to hand-deliver some of the pot plants.
Since November last year the Greenacres gardeners have been working with IRT Facilities Management to propagate the plants with cuttings sourced from IRT aged care centre gardens in the Illawarra.
The plants include geraniums, succulents, money plant, pig face, fire stick and coleus.
The group of seven Greenacres gardeners have been receiving gardening training from IRT Facilities Management employees for the past two years as part of the Greenacres Community Connect program, which provides training opportunities for people with disability.
Participants have learned basic gardening and land care skills, use of lawn mowing equipment and have been involved in the garden design and planting at IRT Five Islands and Kemira at IRT Kanahooka.
When COVID-19 restrictions impacted the group's ability to continue tending the gardens at IRT aged care sites, they pivoted to propagating the 1200 plants for Mother's Day.
Nathan Jeffery, who is part of the Greenacres gardening crew was proud of what he and his friends had achieved.
"It's been a great project, we have learnt so much like how to propagate plants and what kind of soil to use," he said.
"I've really enjoyed being a part of it."
Mr Jeffery said the pot plants being delivered would be "special for the mothers".
"If it wasn't for mothers we wouldn't be here," he said.
The project has also incorporated Greenacres Enterprises, who decorated 1200 terracotta pots for the plants and crafted hand-made cards.
The pots were donated by Bunnings Belambi.
IRT Group CEO Patrick Reid said the Greenacres IRT Community Connect gardening program was a great example of two community-based not-for-profits working together to benefit both organisations and the people of the Illawarra.
He said the project was a "really great team effort all-round".
"It's no mean feat - it's taken them since November to be ready for Mother's Day," he said.
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