Green thumbs re­warded with vol­un­teer gong

Nurs­ery gar­den­ers’ suc­cess with NSW award

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

THE out­stand­ing work of the vol­un­teers at Bidwell Nurs­ery Gar­den has been recog­nised at the 2016 Vol­un­teer of the Year Awards.

The hard­work­ing group was pre­sented with the teams award for Syd­ney outer west and Blue Moun­tains at Ne­pean Row­ing Club on Septem­ber 1.

The event was at­tended by Mt Druitt and Black­town MPs Ed­mond Atalla and John Robert­son.

Cen­tre for Vol­un­teer­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Gemma Ry­gate said the awards were NSW’s way of recog­nis­ing out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions by vol­un­teers across NSW.

The Bid­will Com­mu­nity Gar­den has been op­er­at­ing for more than a decade, and in re­cent years has added a com­mu­nity nurs­ery where Hous­ing NSW or com­mun- ity hous­ing res­i­dents can re­ceive free plants to beau­tify their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

The vol­un­teers tend to the gar­den beds and me­mo­rial gar­den and ap­ply for grants to run com­mu­nity events for chil­dren and se­niors for fundrais­ing.

Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice clients also use the gar­dens weekly to do com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Com­mu­nity green­ing of- fi­cer El­iz­a­beth Dock­ing nom­i­nated the Bidwell group for the award.

“The vol­un­teers are so pas­sion­ate about what they do,” she said in the nom­i­na­tion. “It is as much about what they can do for oth­ers as what they get out of the gar­den them­selves.

“The work of the gar­den brings peo­ple to­gether in a pos­i­tive way in a com­mu­nity that has its chal­lenges.

“Lo­cals are proud of their com­mu­nity gar­den and feel safe and wel­come when they en­ter. It is also a learn­ing space where peo­ple of all ages learn new skills.

“The vol­un­teers are also pre­pared to of­fer their ser­vices be­yond the gar­den gate, so will visit se­niors com­plexes, schools and shop­ping ar­eas to pro­vide free plants and ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The Bid­will Gar­dens team with John Robert­son.

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