A recent gardening project in Battersea, London saw residents involved in creating their own garden, and bringing about a wonderful sense of community spirit.
Joan Bartlett House, a retirement home for older people, had a sprawling but run-down rooftop garden in need of some care and attention. Some of the residents have ill-health or disabilities, so they wanted a safe and natural outdoor space to enjoy, where they can do gardening and socialise with their neighbours. The resident group, Sunnysiders Association, rallied around to raise funds, with support from the Older People’s Forum.
Some one-off volunteering days saw several groups including myself mucking in to help transform this garden. Volunteers from businesses, a local disability charity Thrive, and a well known housing association their staff and residents all took part in this worthwhile community venture.
”Helping others and knowing they will benefit from your work…such a rewarding feeling”, said one of our volunteer residents.
The event created a strong sense of community with people from different backgrounds and abilities coming together, eager to volunteer their time. Our Social Impact and Green teams worked together to get more people involved. The Green team managed the hands-on activities and ensured that the choices of plants supported the natural wildlife and would be easy for the residents to maintain.
Plans are underway to plant more edible herbs and plants. Thrive, a charity that works with people with disabilities or mental health issues, will be invited to run a vegetable patch planting scheme on the site, the produce of which will be shared among residents to volunteer to maintain the garden.
Want to get involved? We’d like to hear from you!
To get involved in this project or other volunteering opportunities, please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org .