10ft Community Gardens creating places for nature and growing on our doorsteps
Groundwork has over 25 years’ experience of working with some of the most deprived communities across Yorkshire enabling them to make positive changes to their lives and their communities. Since 2010 we have been based in Hull working with communities and partners across the city. Our community development approach puts local people at the heart, it enables them to identify the issues and work together with us to address them. This ensures communities have real ownership a sense of pride and helps ensure that what we achieve together is sustainable. Groundwork has:
• Supported communities across the city to transform underutilised spaces into food growing areas and enabled some of the most disadvantaged groups to learn the skills to grow and cook their own food.
• Enabled parents, young people and others to gains the skills to cook healthy affordable meals for themselves and their families helping them to make their money go further and make healthier choices to improve their health.
• Ensured community voices were heard and reflected in the design and development of master plans for parks and open spaces including East and West Park, Bude and Alderman Kneeshaw.
• Delivered environmental learning in schools enabling children and young people to learn about nature and the environment and be involved in creating arts and environmental improvements in their communities.
• Created a hub for the whole community at Springhead Park Golf Club. Throughout the COVID 19 pandemic we have provided a free home cooked meal deliver service to the most vulnerable we have become a friend and trusted support both to our clients and their families.
Since 2013 we have been working with residents and organisations in and around the Hessle Road area of Hull. The area has a rich heritage and was the heart of Hulls fishing industry. Since the fishing industries decline the area has become one of the most deprived in the city. Groundwork initiatives in the area have:
• Enabled residents to be involved in the design, development and management of a community garden. Situated at the Western Library together with residents and Library services we have created a hub used for large community events, workshops, training, volunteering, children and family growing groups and groups to address social isolation and loneliness.
• Worked with residents and partner organisations on Wellstead Street to identify issues and deliver a range of events and activities that have enabled local people to clean up their street and address issues impacting on their lives and environment.
• Recruited local people to become volunteers and supported many of them to progress to become Green Champions who work tirelessly with us to inspire others to develop collective action to clean up their streets and green spaces and re-think waste.
During COVID 19 lock down like other organisations Groundwork had to creatively re-think the way in which we engaged communities. In response we developed a range of virtual initiatives to support volunteers, address social isolation and boredom and enable people to make the most of their money.
• Working with local foodbanks we created daily recipes that utilised ingredients found in food parcels and other affordable ingredients. Our recipes and videos inspired people to make healthy meals and our Virtual Kitchen group enabled them to show off their culinary successes. • The Virtual Veg Plot group provided tips and advice on how to grow their own food and our Green Champions showed others how they could get their street growing.
• Our Virtual Shed enabled us to show people how to re-think waste and create items for their home and garden from items that they might normally throw away. The group provided the opportunity for many to show case their own projects and we found that the likes and positive comments really helped peoples self-confidence and enabled many to remain positive during a very difficult time.
Since lockdown eased Groundwork have been back out in the community following COVID 19 guidance. We have listened to residents and heard first-hand the impact the pandemic has had.
• Those in single person households spoke of the loneliness they felt
• The elderly and vulnerable struggled with shopping during self-isolation
• Parents with children living in properties with no green space told us how they missed access to nature.
We know that further restrictions will impact even harder on our community. Groundwork staff are working with our champions, volunteers and wider community to create initiatives that will increase their resilience. We want to ensure that as the impact of COVID 19 continues to hit communities hard they are better placed to deal with it. Since June Groundwork has:
• Worked with residents and local organisations to plan and deliver a Giant Jumble Trail. The trail enabled groups and households to raise much needed money and reduce items for landfill from their unwanted items from their doorstep. The trail saw many groups and individuals make hundreds of pounds from their unwanted items and visitors come from as far as Grimsby and York to grab a bargain.
• We’re providing a COVID safe space and support for people to meet, socialise take, play chess, discuss books, garden and learn and take part in make do and mend crafts.
Ground work has also been working with residents, of Sefton Street, landlords and shop owners on Hessle Road and the Safety partnership on a pilot 10ft Community Garden. The 10ft has been blighted by fly-tipping, prostitution, drug dealing and other anti-social behaviour. To date the pilot has:
• Enabled residents to get to know each other
• Engaged all residents and businesses in the project
• Secured funding for a coded lock to ensure the 10ft can be secure and materials to create raised beds for flowers and food growing.
• Enabled residents to undertake a community clean-up.
• Empowered residents to challenge anti-social behaviour
• Recruited resident volunteers who want to create the garden.
Since the first community led clean up the alley has remained clean. Other residents locally and on social media have seen the change. The pilot has created a demand amongst community members for their own 10ft Community Gardens. The 10ft Division Road 10ft Garden will enable us to:
• Build on the work of our pilot and harness the community spirit that has swelled during COVID 19 to facilitate collective action.
• Empower local residents to address crime, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.
• To provide residents with the support, expertise and the opportunity to utilise their own skills and learn together in COVID safe conditions to design and build their own 10ft garden.
There is a huge amount of research that demonstrate the benefits access to green space, nature and the opportunity to grow has on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Often those who would most benefit are the least likely to have access and this has only been exasperated by COVID 19. The 10ft Community Garden project will help address these inequalities, creating bespoke green spaces that meet the needs of local people. Enabling those with no gardens access to nature and a place where they can grow or learn to grow food on their door step. Should COVID 19 measures increase they will provide communities with a vital safe places to exercise and play. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic 10ft Community gardens will help the community in its recovery. The communal gardens will provide spaces where eventually they can come together to celebrate, enjoy and grow food together and help alleviate the financial pressures on household that are likely to follow COVID 19.
Reg Number: 06455490 | Charity Number: 1125856