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Planning Retirement Online

An office in the garden            2003

Going to work in sexy suburbia

The charity Help the Aged is taking a bold step into the future with the concept of The SoHo Garden (Small Office, Home Office) to be unveiled at the Chelsea Flower Show 2003. The garden has been designed to embrace the changing face of society with a particular reference to working lifestyles.   

See picture above


Mark Gregory of award winning Landmark Design & Build has designed the garden, while the office and interiors are styled by top TV design guru Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen. The venture was developed around the concept of working from home and offering an alternative office space within the garden. No stressful journey to work, but there is a short journey to be made – walking to work, using stepping stones across tranquil water! 

Traditional materials have been used in a modern way to create what Laurence calls a “sexy suburban” ambience. The garden and office are designed to offer an insight into how work styles can be altered for the future to offer a more flexible approach for employees/workers of all ages. 

By 2030, over a third of the population is expected to be over 60, and Help the Aged is thinking ahead about how employment might change in the future and how employers can attract older workers. One way to achieve this is to become more flexible and to offer home working.

Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen says:

“The small office/home office concept that we're creating is about marrying the traditional and the contemporary, in an innovative and modern way and move people's pre-conceptions of Help the Aged. The garden provides an exciting opportunity for the charity to promote an innovative & sophisticated design and also Chelsea's first "sexy suburban" garden.”

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2003 takes place from 20 – 23 May 2003 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, London, SW3        

Ticket Hotline( 0870 906 3781


Help the Aged calling all green fingers 

If you are a keen gardener, over the age of 55 and would welcome the challenge of bringing colour to your neighbourhood, Help the Aged could have 1,000s to help you do just that.

This spring the Charity is calling on all over 55s to put their interest in gardening to good use and is offering grants to fund individuals or groups of up to three to set up a community project of their choice.  Awards can even be made to set up a gardening and horticultural project for you and your friends!  

Maybe you would like to spruce up a neglected public garden or park in your area or set up a project to tidy overgrown gardens of local older or disabled people.  Whatever your gardening project idea, we encourage you to get in touch – we would like to help your great gardening idea become reality!” 

Enthusiastic over 55s interested in helping their community should ring 0870 770 3280 or email  Applications close 30 June 2003.  

Thanks to the Millennium Commission, Help the Aged has just over 1 million to fund community projects around the country. In addition to gardening, the Charity will consider a range of ideas, from IT training classes to art projects or dance classes to coffee mornings.



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