Gar­den project gives food for

CALL­ING ON VOL­UN­TEERS TO HELP WITH WEEKLY COM­MU­NITY SES­SIONS

The Chronicle - - News -

A COM­MU­NITY project which brings to­gether res­i­dents liv­ing on a Ty­ne­side es­tate through gar­den­ing and im­prov­ing green spa­ces has been launched.

The ‘Gar­den Neigh­bours’ project in El­swick is look­ing for will­ing vol­un­teers to par­tic­i­pate in the weekly ses­sions which will en­cour­age res­i­dents to de­velop new friend­ships, work to­gether, learn new skills and over­come per­ceived barriers.

Hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion Kar­bon Homes, which owns and man­ages homes on the Mill Farm Close es­tate in El­swick, has in­vested £5,000 to de­liver the eight-month project across three es­tates.

Com­mu­nity gar­den­ers will run mini gar­den makeovers on the Mill Farm Close, Bentinck and Jubilee es­tates and will get in­volved in dig­ging over beds, plant­ing new flow­ers, fresh­en­ing up hang­ing bas­kets, as well as gen­eral gar­den tidy-ups and of­fer­ing ad­vice on how to im­prove and main­tain gar­dens.

The ses­sions will run weekly every Mon­day be­tween 10am and 12pm (ex­cept bank hol­i­days) and ‘Tidy Up and Plant’ com­mu­nity events will be or­gan­ised dur­ing the school hol­i­days, fo­cus­ing on lit­ter picks, plant­ing pots to take home or plant­ing up hang­ing bas­kets.

The project is part of the Ed­i­ble El­swick part­ner­ship run from the West End Women and Girls Cen­tre, which was de­vel­oped with in­put from lo­cal women who at­tend cook­ery and gar­den­ing groups.

Ed­i­ble El­swick aims to raise ca­pac­ity within the lo­cal com­mu­nity to get in­volved in grow­ing and plant­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, in­crease pride and own­er­ship of the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment, break down barriers be­tween com­mu­ni­ties and sup­port healthy eat­ing and lifestyles.”

Lind­sey Porter, com­mu­nity in­volve­ment of­fi­cer at Kar­bon Homes, said: “Here at Kar­bon, our aim is take an ac­tive role in shap­ing the com­mu­ni­ties and places where our res­i­dents live. The El­swick Gar­den Neigh­bours project has run sim­i­lar projects al­ready so we were keen to sup­port this new ini­tia­tive.

“We be­lieve this project will en­cour­age res­i­dents to come for­ward and en­gage but also open up a re­la­tion­ship with neigh­bours who they may not have met or talked to be­fore. The project will be fun and en­gag­ing and we hope it will make a big dif­fer­ence to this lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

Jo­hu­run Nessa, Ed­i­ble El­swick devel­op­ment worker, said: “We were

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