Around 90 people with a learning disability come to The Riverside each day. It is a social hub, learning centre, safe space & invaluable resource. People choose how to spend their day & plan their own timetable of activities, from painting to horse-riding. We give people the support they need to do this.
Due to the imminent closure of our Queens Road Centre, we need to make space for more people at The Riverside who have nowhere else to go each day.
Currently, our car park is an under-used, uninspiring resource that’s crying out for a new use. We want to brighten up this space by: rejuvenating the overgrown, littered borders and building raised, accessible flower beds (some of which will be available to local residents for minimal rent). We will teach gardening & grow our own healthy food to serve in our kitchen. .
We also plan to install a ready-made art studio for the people we support & for other local community groups to use for workshops, training or therapy.
What we'll deliver:
- Build 3 raised beds for local residents to grow their own food
- Build 3 raised beds for people with a learning disability to learn gardening skills
- Clear weeds and litter from the borders and re-plant with bee-friendly, air-filtering plants such as lavender
- Erect a ready-made art studio for classes, workshops and therapy sessions
Why it's a great idea:
We currently offer gardening in the community as one of our activities. However, not all the sites are wheelchair accessible and rely on transport, so are not fully inclusive. Even so, there is more demand for places than we can deliver. Bringing the garden to our doorstep means no-one will be excluded and more people will benefit from learning new skills and experiencing the joy that gardening brings.
An added bonus will be linking food growing to healthy eating. This is especially important considering people with a learning disability have a lower life expectancy, partly due to lifestyle.
In an area where access to green space is limited and air pollution is high, transforming a car park into an oasis of plants is essential to improving our local community. Local residents will benefit from access to food growing, cleaner air, a better view and any surplus food, which we will share.
Ultimately, for a relatively low cost, we can improve the lives of many.
Steps to get it done:
- Assemble the beds and the compost bin
- Order seeds, water butt, cold frames, polytunnels and tools
- Order six raised beds, compost bin and the soil
- Order the ready-made studio and agree on the specifications
- Take delivery of the studio, place the beds accordingly and fill with soil
- Clear all borders of litter and weeds
- Devise a planting schedule for beds and borders according to seasons
- Launch the project with a press release
- Promote the opportunity for renting a bed to local residents
- Promote the studio space to local community groups
- Start planting!
Did you know-
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK?
1.35 million of these have been the victim of bullying!
Help us change this by building their confidence, encouraging an inclusive community and challenging social attitudes.
We will offer rewards to our backers:
£10 pledge - A hand made thank you card from our art workshop
£25 pledge - A hand made thank you card from our art workshop AND free lunch for a week at Riverside Centre
£100 pledge - A hand made thank you card from our art workshop AND an invitation to our exclusive launch party
£500 pledge - All of the above PLUS a bed named in your honour