It's all systems grow for Whetstone Charity as Stepnell rises to garden makeover challenge

Volunteers from local construction company Stepnell helped create a new allotment and garden area in Whetstone as part of this year’s Team Challenge event organised by local charity Leicestershire Cares.

Ten Stepnell staff members took time out from their usual jobs to spent two days at the Activity Centre, in Warwick Road, Whetstone where charity Young Leicestershire is based.

The volunteers transformed a badly overgrown piece of land into a garden space which will be tended by the young people and other service users who meet at the Activity Centre.

Using materials kindly donated by a number of their suppliers, the Stepnell volunteers cleared the area of weeds and litter, installed new paving and decking and painted an existing shed. One of the company’s joiners also built some new garden furniture, including chairs and a table.

Young Leicestershire chief executive Alison Jolley says: “We wanted to create the allotment area to allow the different groups who meet at the centre to be able to grow their own vegetables and to link in with activities relating to healthy eating.  We’re extremely grateful to the Stepnell team who put in two fantastic days of hard graft, working really hard and providing us with a great foundation. We’ve already planted half the garden area.”

“It was hard work but extremely satisfying to see the difference we had made at the end of the two days,” says Stepnell proposals coordinator Louise Bilbie. “This is the third time we’ve taken part in the Leicestershire Cares Team Challenge event. It’s a really worthwhile initiative which is always fun, enabling us to get out into the local community and give something back. We hope the young people enjoy using the allotment area and have lots of success with their garden produce!”

Stepnell has been working with Leicestershire Cares over a number of years providing work placements for people wanting to work in construction. The successful partnership was recognised earlier this year when Stepnell was named Company of the Year in the Leicestershire Cares Awards.

Stepnell is currently working on a number of major construction schemes in Leicestershire including a £13.1 million contract for the University of Leicester to complete the modernisation of its Percy Gee Building. The company is also working on a £1.8 million project for the Diocese of Leicester which will deliver new high-end visitor accommodation in the city centre.

Photo: Back row, left-right: Young Leicestershire chief executive Alison Jolley; the Stepnell team –  Tom Kay, Kieran Gubbins, Louise Bilbie, Shaun Moses, Matt Sadler, Ali Clapham and Tom McSwiggan;  Activity Centre manager Dave Palmer
Front row, left-right: Connor Morris, Thomas Monk, Callum Wilson, Josh Hope, Ben Allen who are all members of the Centre’s  Advanced Football Development Academy programme.


  • Volunteering