U.S. Embassy staff volunteer in Battersea Park

Published: Monday 30th September 13

Dozens of staff from the U.S. Embassy paid a visit to what will soon be their local park to volunteer at a charity garden as part of a Day of Service to commemorate 9/11.

About 40 Embassy employees put on their gardening gloves and gathered in Battersea Park yesterday to weed, prune and plant in a garden run by Thrive, which uses horticultural therapy to help people with disabilities improve their physical and mental health.

The project, organised by the U.S. Embassy, the council and Thrive, was linked to the Embassy’s ongoing volunteering program to build bridges with the community in Wandsworth ahead of its planned move to Nine Elms in 2017.U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Mayor of Wandsworth Councillor Angela Graham

Mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Angela Graham, was present to welcome the volunteers and thank them for dedicating their time to support the work carried out by Thrive.

She said: “This was the fourth volunteering visit that Embassy staff have made to Thrive and Battersea Park and their efforts are once again very much appreciated.

“The arrival of the U.S. Embassy and its staff to our borough may still be several years away but we are already looking forward to welcoming them here.

“Judging by the support they have already given to our community, I am sure they can expect to have an extra special relationship with the people of Wandsworth.”

U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun (pictured meeting Cllr Graham) participated in the day of service and later tweeted pictures of his staff at Battersea Park.

Isla Ferns, Battersea garden project manager at Thrive, said: “Thrive was delighted to work with the U.S. Embassy again. They always give 100 per cent to the task in hand and make a real difference.”

To find out more about Thrive and its work, including how to volunteer at the garden, visit www.thrive.org.uk.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Last year, Wandsworth Council’s planning applications committee approved detailed designs for the new U.S. Embassy complex at the heart of the Nine Elms regeneration area. The development is centred around ‘The Chancery’ – an 11 storey cube shaped building – but will also feature a new public open space, including landscaped gardens, walkways and a large pond. The area immediately south of the site is set to become a new public plaza.

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