The Mayor of Watford visited New Hope, the Watford based charity that supports homeless and vulnerably-housed people, last week.

Dorothy Thornhill was there to greet and thank volunteers from Affinity Water and contactors Mace and Amey, who were working together to install an environmentally-friendly rain water butt harvesting system in New Hope’s one-acre Community Market Garden, which is owned by Watford Borough Council.

The garden  provides services to the community and, each year, offers "eco-therapy" to around 60 people with mental health needs.

The rain water harvesting system will allow New Hope to use a sustainable supply of water to maintain their large garden, while reducing water bills which will enable them to invest more money in supporting vulnerably housed people.

Affinity Water chose to partner with New Hope last year, through their annual Ricky Road Run, which generated more than £10k for the cause.

Affinity’s Hannah Battram  said: "Affinity Water is a community-focused organisation serving local people and we want to be involved in projects which benefit the community we serve. The New Hope charity carries out a vital service in Watford and I am delighted that we have had the opportunity to assist them."

The mayor said: "We are very fortunate to have a charity like New Hope in Watford and I am extremely proud to call myself a supporter.

"On behalf of New Hope and the council, I thank Affinity, Mace and Amey for supporting some of Watford’s most marginalised members of society in this way."

New Hope chief executive Matthew Heasman said: "Watering this huge and important garden has always been very difficult. Until today, we had just one hose pipe running to a tap in a neighbouring property.

"I am thrilled that Affinity Water has provided us with a rain water harvesting system, which is something we would not have been able to afford. Not only that, but the Affinity volunteers who came to install the system gave a fantastic boost to our service users, volunteers and staff alike."