Garden to bring peo­ple to­gether

The Invercargill Eye - - OUT & ABOUT - RE­BECCA MOORE

What is known as a place for peo­ple to con­nect and share is becoming even more of a com­mu­nity hub.

A new com­mu­nity garden has been set up at the In­ver­cargill Plun­ket rooms to help fam­i­lies con­nect and learn from each other.

‘‘Com­mu­nity cham­pion’’ and mum Cathy Jor­dan said she set up the garden as a place for fam­i­lies to con­nect with each other and to ed­u­cate peo­ple on a more healthy lifestyle.

‘‘The idea is to cre­ate a re­laxed space for peo­ple to come, learn some new things, and con­nect with each other,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s about pro­vid­ing a fun and wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment for par­ents and chil­dren to get in­volved in the com­mu­nity.’’

Jor­dan, who has worked on other com­mu­nity gar­dens through­out the coun­try, said it was es­pe­cially im­por­tant for new fam­i­lies in the re­gion to feel wel­comed into a com­mu­nity.

‘‘The idea was driven by fam­i­lies, with the sup­port from familes.’’

Plun­ket helped fam­i­lies with chil­dren from new­born to five years pre­dom­i­nantly, but any­one was wel­come to join in look­ing af­ter the garden.

So far, the garden has radishes, kale, sil­ver­beet, broc­coli and let­tuce.

‘‘It’s about tak­ing that holis­tic ap­proach and help­ing our com­mu­nity thrive,’’ Jor­dan said.

‘‘It’s a good way of shar­ing knowl­edge ... but it’s re­ally just a fo­cus on fun.’’

The project, which has taken about two months to get off the ground, has been sup­ported by sev­eral part­ners, in­clud­ing Healthy Fam­i­lies In­ver­cargill and Plun­ket, and spon­sors Wel­lSouth, Jen­nian Homes, Elles Road New World, Di­acks, Speedy Signs and An­neke Kawau.

Plun­ket com­mu­nity sup­port co­or­di­na­tor Judy Cook said she was im­me­di­ately on board with Jor­dan’s vi­sion for the garden.

‘‘I think it’s the start of some­thing hap­pen­ing at Plun­ket cen­tres around New Zealand ... it’s just go­ing to evolve.’’

Healthy Fam­i­lies In­ver­cargill man­ager Jared Cap­pie said: ‘‘It’s a fantastic ini­tia­tive that has been driven by a com­mu­nity cham­pion, and that is very em­pow­er­ing for our city.’’

There will be com­mu­nity ses­sions at the garden on Thurs­days, 3.30pm to 4.30pm. About 20 peo­ple at­tended the first ses­sion last week.

RE­BECCA MOORE/STUFF

Matilda Cap­pie, 2, at the new com­mu­nity garden set up at the In­ver­cargill Plun­ket rooms.

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