On the 18th of December 2023, you may have spotted Ground Control employees amongst an army of volunteers, who came out in force to help transform a dilapidated bungalow at Latton Bush Centre, Harlow, Essex, into a well-being centre for vulnerable people.

The Butterfly Effect Wellbeing is the pioneering charity behind this transformation; recognising the need for a safe place in the community and the opportunity to make it happen via the BBC TV series DIY SOS: The Big Build.

Founded by Angie Hannibal in memory of her Mum, Chris who lost her life to suicide after suffering for many years from mental ill health; the charity helps to support mental, physical, and spiritual well-being on a holistic level in a friendly environment.

As a local landscaping business that recognises the importance of nature for well-being, Ground Control was delighted to contribute by donating plants and shrubbery, comprising evergreens perennials and a mixture of native grasses and phormiums to create the beautiful, tranquil gardens surrounding the bungalow.

Ground Control employees helped out onsite over the six days, providing service as professional landscapers and general volunteers, all getting a part to play in every stage of the development.

Led by the show’s garden designer Luke, our volunteers helped with the planting and general labouring. Tasks included planting the shrubs we donated into the allotment and tranquility garden, transporting planters, crates of shrubs, barrows of topsoil, and general materials to the site. EastEnders legend Gillian Wright, who plays Jean Slater in the BBC Soap, also joined us to help with the gardening.

Bel Weaver, Producer, DIY SOS: The big build said:

From the whole DIY SOS team, we would like to say an enormous thank you for the hard work, effort, donations, kindness, generosity, late nights, early mornings, long journeys, blood, sweat, and tears (!) that have all contributed to getting a dilapidated and unloved old caretakers bungalow transformed into the stunning new home of Butterfly Effect Wellbeing.  The Butterfly Effect will now have a permanent home where they can continue their work to offer a safe place to people when they most need it, a place where people can find the warmth of friends, fun, companionship, and understanding.

 

Amanda Manning, Event Coordinator at Ground Control said:

I think I speak for our whole team on how wonderful it was to take time out of our day jobs to contribute to this amazing transformation that will make such a difference to people in need in our community.
We were there in our capacity as landscaping experts, but many of us have desk-based roles at Ground Control. It was wonderful to work alongside operational tradespeople and experience first-hand what goes into bringing a project like this together, and just be able to roll our sleeves up and get stuck into the hard graft. 
We met so many wonderful people from multiple trades, all willing to do whatever was needed to get this ambitious job done in just six days.
It was also a pleasure to meet the crew, especially Luke for allowing us to plant the shrubs we donated, and to Eastenders actress Gillian for helping us out.


Teams and employees at Ground Control have been joining planting projects, community activities, and causes such as this, all to showcase Human Nature: At Its Best and to celebrate ’50 Years of Ground Control’.

This special Christmas episode of DIY SOS: 'The Big Build', aired on Monday 18th December at 20:00, and can be viewed on BBC i-player.

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