A HEALTHCARE provider based in York has ‘adopted’ a community area in the city, which will see the site cleaned up more frequently.

Benenden Health, based in Holgate Park Drive, off Poppleton Road, has teamed up with York Cares and City of York Council to ‘adopt’ the Sidings garden in Holgate.

Adopting the site will enable Benenden Health to have a local community project on their doorstep.

The community area will still be under council responsibility but as a local business, Benenden Health will be organising teams of volunteers to spruce up the area on a more frequent basis.

The first tidy up took place on November 7, where more than 20 colleagues from Benenden Health spent the day on site for the first time after receiving their formal site induction.

The communal area soon started to take shape with noticeable improvements from cleaning up litter, cutting back hedgerows and edging the park area.

Nikki Taylor, corporate social responsibility and engagement coordinator at Benenden Health, said: “This is a fantastic volunteering opportunity as the Sidings is only a five minute walk away from our offices, which will hopefully encourage all our colleagues to go along to the park areas in their lunch breaks and spruce up the communal area.”

“Through volunteering programmes such as this, Benenden Health continues to support the local community. The initiative is also part of our commitment to better mental health, both through providing a great space and by encouraging our employees to have time out from the office space.”

Holly Hennell, manager at York Cares, added: "We are delighted to be supporting Benenden Health with their adoption of the local Sidings site. We know what an impact a sustained commitment can have and they now have the opportunity to make a real difference to their local community over a period of time."

Cllr Keith Aspden, the council's executive member for economic development and community engagement, said: “Volunteering brings a variety of benefits to our local communities and also to the volunteers themselves. The Sidings Garden is an important amenity for local residents and I am certain that the additional support from the Benenden Health will be greatly appreciated by everyone involved.”

York Cares is a partnership of the city’s leading employers committed to making York a better place through employee-volunteering.