The Juniper Centre for adults with learning disabilities in Christchurch has benefited from a competition for the best Christmas lights won by Christchurch Council.

The Council entered photos of the Christmas lights into the competition, run by South & South East in Bloom, and was declared joint winner with Ash in Surrey.

As the prize was £50 in garden vouchers, the Council decided to donate them to the Juniper Centre for their garden project at Christchurch Fire Station.

Ann Simon, Tourism Manager at the Council, said: “We regularly take the judges from South & South East in Bloom to the Juniper Centre’s garden and they are always impressed by what they see. It seemed only right that this prize should go to help the Juniper Centre develop their garden project.”

Jackie Buckley from the Juniper Centre said: “Our latest project is a marsh garden at the Fire Station so we’re very thankful for the vouchers which we’ll use to buy some suitable plants such as irises and marsh marigolds. We’ve done a lot of research into our project and are constructing a wildlife corridor and building hedgehog tunnels as well planting the garden. We’re very grateful to the Fire Service for allowing us to use part of their land for this sheltered work opportunity for adults with learning disabilities.”

Ray Jones, the Fire Station Commander, added: “We have embraced this opportunity to give something to the local community by offering this land to be used by the Juniper Centre. Our policy is to open up part of the station to the local community, for instance letting some meeting rooms out to local organisations, focusing on groups where we can also offer free fire safety advice


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