HCGA have been gardening on the site since 2004. The existing glasshouse structures have been refurbished twice but are at the end of their life. Existing facilities consist of a completely inadequate 1 electric socket and 1 cold water tap. There is no heating and the resource is unusable during the winter (3 months of the year).
The project is in response to many requests from local users who are also local residents. We offer a range of activities from school visits, volunteer gardening sessions for people including refugees and those with health and learning difficulties. Pop up Yoga is held twice weekly.
The glasshouses are the headquarters for our wider organisation. The new glasshouse will be configured for maximum use. A large central space that can be used for meetings, concerts & workshops leading out on to the walled garden that we have exclusive use of. To facilitate this vision we have negotiated a 25 year lease on the site, & secured full planning perpmission
What we'll deliver:
- To construct a new glasshouse a Green Community Hub for the benefit of local residents
Why it's a great idea:
Growing Plants - Growing People - Growing Communities is our slogan & this new glass house will provide our HQ & the heart of our operations.
The project is a direct result of requests from our volunteers and user groups who are all local residents, several of whom have already undertaken lots of work behind the scenes securing the necessary legal permissions.
The importance of green space to improve health & well being has long been recognised & in an inner city borough with very high deprivation indices the need for a small piece of calm and nature has never been more needed. Places for the local community to meet that aren't prohibitively expensive are scarce.
One of the main drivers for the project is to be able to use the space year round. Currently we have to suspend many of our programmes between December - February as the facilities have no heating & leak.
As a small local charity we understand the needs & aspirations of the local community & the project will be a focal point
Steps to get it done:
- Schedule timing of works
- Place glasshouse order
- Dismantle existing structure
- Trades on site (allow 12 weeks)
- Launch Event
- Project evaluation monitoring and reporting
Our charity is very people focused -we work with 60+ volunteers each week many of whom are socially or economically disadvantaged.
Our Grow Well programme at the glasshouses runs activities for people with long term health issues or who have caring responsibilities. Our Get Out There / Men in Sheds project' all socially isolated older men' undertake much of the ,maintenance at the site. We receive referrals from St Mungos. Alzheimer’s Soc and local GPs. We receive many requests from other organisations and host regular professional tours to share our learning.
We work with 16 schools on a weekly basis, grow plants for use by the schools at the project. We also host class visits at the glasshouses.
We work across 4 local boroughs and the glasshouses are our HQ where we deliver a range of workshops for both the general public and CPD sessions for teacher and healthcare professionals
Other groups also use the space, a yoga group and the NHS run an eco therapy session for patients.