Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Blind Society's garden makeover boost

Councillor Joan McTigue, Nora McGough, and Andy Preston

A Teesside charity’s all set for spring after a Councillor stepped in with a colourful suggestion.

The outside garden area at the Teesside & District Society for the Blind has been given a complete overhaul with new plants and a vibrant paint job.

The facelift was the idea of Longlands & Beechwood Councillor Joan McTigue who has been training as a volunteer at the Society’s Stockton Road centre.

She contacted Middlesbrough Council’s Area Care team who were happy to help with clearing beds, tubs and planters of weeds, topping up the compost and cutting back shrubs.

The team then added a splash of colour to the whole area with a bright new paint scheme for the tables, chairs and planters.

Meanwhile friend Mike Heagney from Tudor Croft Gardens also offered a generous donation of more than 40 perennials to give joy to the visually challenged people who use the centre.

Many of these plants are fragrant, some are soft and tactile and Mike’s team also planted a scented but thornless rose.

Councillor McTigue said: “The centre is a brilliant resource that’s valued by everyone who uses it, but the garden area was looking tired and in need of some TLC.

“Area Care have done a fantastic job, and Mike Heagney’s generosity has been amazing as ever.

“We’ve been delighted to be able to help out, and hope it will bring many hours of enjoyment to those who use the centre.

“The centre relies on donations and volunteers so I’d urge anyone who can spare the time to get in touch and lend a helping hand.”

Teesside & District Society for the Blind Manager Nora McGough said: “We are very grateful to everyone involved, Joan for bringing everyone together, Area Care for all their hard work and Mike Heagney for his generosity - it shows what can be achieved by a Councillor who cares.

“Our Centre users have already commented on how lovely it will be to sit out and enjoy the garden in the summer.

“A job well done by all!”

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston, who popped by to lend a hand, said: “Well done Joan – what a great cause, and what a brilliant way to make a difference.

“Good gardens lift everybody’s spirits, and a little bit of work and a lot of generosity have made this one truly special for everyone who uses the centre.”

The Teesside & District Society for the blind is always on the look-out for volunteers – for more information visit the Teesside and District Society for the Blind website or email