The garden will provide a space for growing food and plants and a space to relax, rejuvenate and learn. Staff, volunteers and fun activities like ‘Bug Club’ will teach how to grow plants alongside skills like compost making, bee-keeping, woodworking and crafts.
The garden will also provide space and support for Armed Forces Veterans and their families to overcome their often complex problems and help them integrate back into the community. The workshop will provide a 'Men in Sheds' experience where woodworking and craft skills can be taught and passed on to other community members. These activities will be co-ordinated by a FirstLight Trust Occupational Therapist with a wide experience of Veterans needs and problems.
The aim is a culture of sharing and interaction mixing Veterans and the wider community to a greater degree thus increasing cohesion, understanding and reducing isolation.
The garden will be designed and managed 100% by local people.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The Community Centre around which the garden is centred serves diverse communities of some 20,000 people within 1 mile of the building with many neighbourhoods suffering deprivation. There are over 4,000 people who now use the Centre and frequent requests to learn about growing food, and associated activities have been refused due to lack of space - until now!
FirstLight has found that for many Armed Forces Veterans living near the Centre lack of suitable employment opportunities, physical and mental disabilities, and little in the way of therapeutic activities exacerbate isolation and lack of self-respect. Yet Veterans are respected throughout this local community and so are in a position to motivate the disaffected, unemployed and younger people. This project addresses this isolation as well as the problems of unhealthy diet and lifestyle, through the solution of a locally-based community garden and allotment with workshop and greenhouse.
Steps to get it done:
There is so much excitement about this project from the children, the community and the Veterans - they have already started to fund raise before we have even started. Please help us make this a reality. This is about bridging the isolation and communication gap between old and young; Veterans are respected by children - let us use this respect to learn and grow from each other.
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