Exactly two years ago, The Mayor of Barnet opened the sensory gardens at Rosa Morison. It was a community effort, with young people in the area raising money for garden plants. But maintaining a garden is a lot of work!

Luckily, once again, a group of young people have taken up Rosa Morison as a cause close to their hearts – this time through the National Citizens Service (NCS).

The NCS is a 2-4 week experience for 15-17 year olds, which helps them gain the confidence and independence to face the next face of their lives… college, university or the working world.

Around a dozen 16-17 year olds from schools in and around north London decided to raise awareness among the general public about people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD).

The young people took to local high streets to hand out flyers about services at Rosa Morison. Then they spent the week repainting the garden furniture and re-planting shrubs and flowers in the multi-sensory garden.

The staff and service users really enjoyed having the young people’s company – so there was a very lively atmosphere at the centre on the final day of planting.

The young people said that volunteering at the centre had really opened their eyes to the challenges for people who have PMLD. They were also able to face their ‘fears’ which included public speaking and heights!

Riya said: “Our group, Ameke, did a showcase two weeks ago where we did a presentation, which helped our public speaking skills. We also learned about the difficulties people with PMLD have, which we knew nothing about. Also, the group of us doing the challenge became like a family – we’ve made some really good friendships.”