Green thumbs rewarded with volunteer gong
Nursery gardeners’ success with NSW award
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.