Millbrook gardeners scoop £10,000 lottery grant
The Garden Gang project was set up by Terrie, a tenant in Ennerdale Road, who wanted to improve her neighbourhood and create an outdoor space for children and adults with mental health issues.
Terrie told us: “I had an idea last year to transform the run down and unused drying area at the back of the block into a place that would benefit everyone and enable neighbours to come together. Many residents here have young children who have never had their own garden and there are also several adults who are usually confined to their flats, suffering with isolation and mental health problems.
“I wanted to create a community garden, not just to brighten up our surroundings but to create a safe place that would bring our community together – either to develop green fingers or just to spend time together outdoors in the fresh air.”
Terrie got the project off the ground with the help from her daughter, both buying flowers and vegetables with their own money. They encouraged local children to join in sunflower growing competitions and urged neighbours to have a go at planting and helping with the upkeep of the garden area. Their enthusiasm proved infectious and soon everyone in the block was involved.
With support from our Decent Neighbourhoods fund earlier this year, Terri and her neighbours set up a formal committee to run the project and apply for funding. The committee hold regular meetings to listen to ideas from the community and they have received planters to put at the front of the block that were donated by a local nursery with our help.
“We are all so proud of what we have achieved so far and are over the moon to have received £10,000 of lottery funding,” said Terrie. “Residents from other blocks are more than welcome to come and see the work we have achieved once the project is complete. We will be holding open days welcoming any residents that would like to come, and I hope our garden encourages other blocks to see what can be done with an unused outdoor spaces. I hope more people can enjoy encouraging wildlife, growing their own vegetables, and communicating with each other.”
If you would like to set up a community gardening club in your area get in touch to find out how we can help you and your neighbours to establish a formal group and apply for funding.