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Volunteers plant 250 trees at Surrey charity to benefit people rebuilding lives after brain injury 

Wates Group and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) celebrated five years in partnership, with a ceremonial tree planting at Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF), attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux.  

Wates Tree Planting at QEF web res
Karen Deacon, QEF Chief Executive, Tim Wates, Wates Deputy Chairman and Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Michael More-Molyneux plant a tree at QEF’s site near Leatherhead

The leading family-owned development, building and property maintenance company, which is headquartered in Leatherhead, Surrey, has been working with TCV since 2018 as part of its commitment to have a positive impact on nature and support conservation projects in its local communities. 

The event which was also attended by Wates’ Deputy Chairman and Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey, Tim Wates, was hosted by Surrey based charity QEF. The Lord Lieutenant planted a ceremonial tree to kickstart a full day of planting supported by local cadets. Over 250 trees were planted in total across QEF’s site at Leatherhead Court. The trees will help to provide a green and relaxing environment for clients at the charity’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre, which supports people to rebuild their lives after an acquired brain injury.    

QEF has a long-standing relationship with Wates as part of the appeal to raise funds to complete and fully fund the new centre, which has been designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ sustainability rating. It features chimneys to help naturally ventilate the building, strict air tightness and insulation standards to minimise heat loss, and 230 solar panels on the roof.  

Throughout its partnership with Wates, TCV has engaged with over 1,500 employees to help create healthier and happier communities by connecting people with their local green spaces. Today’s event marks the end of the partnership. which has involved both fundraising and volunteering support over the past five years.  

Tim Wates said:  

“The built environment is responsible for 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s more important than ever that we take on the challenge of being more sustainable. One of the practical ways to do this, and in which we can all get involved, is to plant more trees.  

“Today’s event is a fitting celebration of what we have achieved through our five-year partnership with TCV. It also recognises the long association Wates has had with QEF, an organisation which means a lot to our people. And the 250 trees we have planted here are one small step to reducing our carbon footprint and helping us to create greener places for years to come.” 

Joe Coles, Tree Programme Manager at TCV, said:  

“The trees planted here today will not only contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change, but they will also bring benefits to people and wildlife too. This wonderful partnership is leaving a legacy for future generations.  

Time spent in greenspace is known to benefit human health and wellbeing, and as they grow, the trees will provide haven for clients at QEF’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre and wildlife alike. With each year that passes it will only get better, they will attract ever more diverse species, creating a thriving habitat for wildlife, and bringing nature to the doorstep at QEF.” 

Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux. 

“It has been a real pleasure to help plant the 250 trees at QEF alongside Wates and TCV.  The planting of trees at this time is such an important addition to our countryside.  The Queen’s Green Canopy was started to provide an everlasting reminder of Her Late Majesty’s service to our country, and to date over one million trees have been planted in the scheme.” 


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