Our second Growing Together Project in Shoeburyness
The Shoeburyness plot over the years:
Images Copyright Google
There will soon be electrical power at the site, permission has been granted and we are now just waiting for the power company to arrange connection, around mid April.
We have a new Garden Co-ordinator, Sam, who started on March 31st, her previous job was at the Tower of London and her expertise is in Wildlife and Conservation.
We are planning to set up a regular women’s only group in the next few weeks.
The Shoebury Fair are raising funds for us on Saturday 5th July. It is on from 11am to 5pm and Clare asked if lots of people can help please.
'BIG DIG' Community Day March 2014
People of all ages came and helped develop our Shoeburyness garden on Saturday 22nd March, part of the national 'Big Dig' scheme, encouraging members of the community to get involved in gardens locally. More than 30 local residents got spades, trowels and watering cans out to help develop the site. Our Chief Exec Matt said "It was great to see local families and neighbours working together on the project on Saturday. The sun came out and we got a lot of work done." The next Big Dig is on Saturday 3rd May and the theme is community safety. There will be stalls from the local council and Essex police where you will be able to receive advice about tagging bikes, tools and other personal belongings to deter thieves.
We have seen the growth and development of Shoeburyness over recent weeks. A company has donated a shipping container, so we can store tools and machinery securely. The two medium sized polytunnels have been enjoyed by butterflies and foxes! A huge pond has been dug, exposing builder’s sand in the base and providing material for landscaping. Johnson Control (an American company with a base in Basildon) have funded and built pergolas around the circular path that was constructed by the Princes Trust group earlier in the Summer. RBS started a raised bed herb garden, which was completed by the group from Johnson Control. Many children and families enjoyed a programme on Fridays over the school summer holiday, having a go at den building, planting and harvesting vegetables and a range of creative activities – more than 60 attended in total. They particularly enjoyed the bouncy castles at the beginning and end of the programme.
We have an excellent core group of members and volunteers attending on Tuesdays and two school groups on Fridays from Shoeburyness High School. If you know anybody that would benefit, do put them in touch so that we can potentially open more often!
SCROLL DOWN FOR AERIAL IMAGES OF THE PLOT
Trust Links received £300,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to develop a site in Shoeburyness to deliver social and gardening activities to improve the health and wellbeing of adults and young people dealing with mental health issues. The project will develop a new community garden from a disused allotment site where people can participate in structured activities while learning horticultural skills. Trust Links will work with local schools to build the vocational skills of young people through positive alternative education which will include building projects, gardening projects, sales and enterprise projects.
And in partnership with Southend Adult Community College, Trust Links will provide an accredited horticulture diploma course and vocational training including food hygiene and first aid. There will also be training courses to prepare people for work and support given to find work and volunteering placements.
Matt King, Chief Executive, Trust Links said: “We are very excited about setting up the Growing Together project in Shoeburyness, building on the success of our Growing Together project in Westcliff over the last 12 years. When we spoke to members of the community and local partner organisations in Shoeburyness, they were keen to help develop the project with us and felt that this was something that local people with mental health problems would benefit from. This Big Lottery Fund grant will give us a fantastic start and help lead to the development of a sustainable project in Shoeburyness that will benefit people for years to come.”
On Saturday 17th March the brand new Growing Together Shoeburyness community garden opened its gates for the first time to the public. Despite wet weather, we had 12 children and 23 adults lending a hand by planting a new hedgerow with whips donated by the Woodland Trust, planting garlic and onion sets, cutting back brambles and scrub and clearing rubbish at the site. The Garden is at a one acre site that used to be allotment land but has been disused for at least 15 years. Trust Links have been awarded funding from the Big Lottery to develop the site into a community garden, primarily for adults with mental health problems and young people disengaged from education. It was brilliant to see so many members of the local community, who were delighted to engage with the new project. Volunteers on the day said they had a great time, enjoyed having a go at gardening and meeting new people.