What I do...
THE GARDEN ALLOWS US TO REACH OUT TO LONELY PEOPLE AND MAKE
THEM FEEL A LITTLE BIT BETTER.
In one of London’s poorest and most ethnically diverse boroughs,
Paula Yassine is bringing the community together through the
“little green oasis” that is St Mary’s Secret Garden in Hackney.
Juxtaposed against the high-rise blocks that surround it, this beautiful space includes food growing, a small woodland, a herb and sensory zone, a glasshouse, a silent space and a wellness garden. A place for local people to meet, relax and share, St Mary’s also provides horticultural therapy, education and training.
“I love passing on my knowledge and seeing all ages and cultures interacting with nature,” says Paula. “I spend more time than I’d like at a computer, proving to funders that gardening is good and their money will be safe with us, so there’s a sense of relief and pride when an application is approved as it means we can reach out to a few more lonely people and try to make their lives a little bit better.”
Interested in volunteering or setting up a community garden? Visit stmaryssecret garden.org.uk or The Federation of City Farms and Gardens at farmgarden.org.uk