Volunteers reap the fruit of their labours at apple orchard harvest

Wolseley staff and Walled Garden service users prepare for Apple Day.  (110929M2)
Wolseley staff and Walled Garden service users prepare for Apple Day. (110929M2)

A RIPON company has launched a volunteering scheme by helping the Walled Garden prepare for its upcoming “Apple Day”.

Twenty staff from Wolseley UK spent a day at the garden last week harvesting fruit from the 200-year-old orchard to be will be sold at the project’s open day.

Wolseley have set up their Volunteer Partnership Scheme with Ripon Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), offering staff skills and manpower for projects to help the community in and around Ripon.

IT Manager, Ian Gouge, led his staff on the apple-picking task.

He said: “This was our opportunity as a local employer to put something back into the community and my staff came together as a strong team and had a tremendous day.

“We picked hundreds of apples and dozens of varieties, some of which are so rare that they only exist in a handful of orchards around the country and the team went home exhausted and having learnt some new skills, but also very happy to have helped this worthwhile project.”

The Walled Garden offers training and employment to young people and adults with learning difficulties.

Manager Chris Searle said: “We were very grateful for Wolseley’s offer of help with our preparation for Apple Day.

“They did a tremendous job in the orchard and also helped us with our vegetable harvesting and composting.

“They are welcome back any time!”

The Walled Garden’s Apple Day will take place on Saturday, October 8. The gardens will be open from 10am-2pm, with a barbecue at noon.