st michaels house The O’Brien’s team have been privileged to continue working throughout the restriction period on various hospital and essential services sites across the country. As we resume work on various commercial construction sites this week, we thought it would be an ideal time to do something positive for people who would really get the value of having an outdoor area during these challenging times.

Having a received a call from St Michael’s House in Fairview to provide a quote to landscape their rear garden space and following the success of the garden created for St John of God last year, we made the decision to help the charity out. “We were inspired by the team in Fairview,” commented Development Manager, Barry Lupton, “When we visited the site and met with the amazing team, residents and witnessed the amazing work they do we knew we wanted to help. They were bursting with enthusiasm and were more than little surprised when we said we’d sort their outdoor space for free.” 

The garden are at the rear of the site was a small weedy space with a decaying shed and some curious poles! Despite this, the residents still made use of it. “The lads love to sit out in the garden with the dog, but it’s not exactly a nice place to sit out and the shed is located in the sunny spot,” commented Valerie who supports the residents in reaching their life goals. “We were overjoyed that O’Briens were willing to take it on and couldn’t believe it when they offered to do it for no cost.” 

“When we undertake these projects we typically like to make it an inclusive activity, involving workers, residents and families, but with the need for social distancing and the small space we had to adapt,” explained Gatis Celms, who oversaw the installation work. “We decided to use a combination of artificial grass and a great selection of plants to provide an instant space, but the residents and team are going to paint the walls themselves over the next week. It’s not how we usually do things but at least everyone is going to participate.”  The creation of such a garden is always a team activity, and not just an O’Brien’s one says Gatis and he’s that everyone involved should be thanked; “It’s always nice when our colleagues find out we’re doing a project like this and they want to get involved. When our good friend Mark O’Loughlin from Sanctuary Synthetics heard we were doing another garden, he donated the artificial grass. Colin May from Proficient Electrical is also installing some garden lights so the space can be used in the evenings.” 

Undertaking such work is very much a part of the O’Brien ethos and the company is committed to undertaking a least one such garden each year. “To be honest we feel embarrassed being thanks for such work,” explained Barry. “It’s nice to be thanked, but in reality doing this type of work is a reward in itself. It is genuinely heartening to do something positive, to feel like you’re making a difference – no matter how small – and to bring the joy of gardening to people who you know will really benefit. It’s us that should be saying thanks, not them.”  

“The O’Brien’s team have just been fabulous. They’ve brought us all a lot of happiness. The garden has just gone in but we’re already loving every bit of it. The lads can’t wait to get out and water the plants as soon as they arrive.

You can learn about the great work being done by St Michael’s House here and help them by making a donation or supporting them here

Below is a selection of photos from the installation. Thanks to everyone involved.