Following collaboration among Malden Manor Residents in 2014, community research identified Malden Manor Station as a focus for fly-tipping and needing some environmental improvements. Since the station is manned peak times only, some residents reported feeling vulnerable when waiting for trains. South West Trains ‘Adopt-A-Station’ programme and Idverde were identified as match-funding partners to co-create a beautiful garden, social and learning space on the forecourt of the station. Residents felt that added presence at the station would lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour and improve the reputation of the ‘gateway to Malden Manor’. In 2016, the first planting day was held when over 70 residents and children attended. 2 more planting days followed and a one-off pilot Rhyme Time poetry session in the garden was supported by volunteers from the Malden Manor Adopt A Station Group. The garden has become a catalyst for change and optimism among the community.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Community Research conducted in Malden Manor in 2014 revealed that the area has suffered from a poor reputation and health inequalities for some time. Malden Manor Station Garden is named after John Everett Millais, (said to have painted Ophelia in the nearby Hogsmill River,) raises public awareness of the area's rich cultural heritage, . The formation of Malden Manor's Adopt-A-Station Group has empowered the local people to take ownership, maintaining the space. When volunteers are litter picking or planting, passersby often comment on what a difference the garden is making to them. It provides a much needed safe meeting space and has imbued residents with a sense of pride. The MMAAS Group is now involved in supporting social activities with Sustrans who are planning to open a community space nearby. It is essential that the garden be maintained since it is a reflection of the area and its residents and dispels the negative impressions that outsiders may have of Malden Manor.
Steps to get it done:
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Because of Winter, things have been very quiet at the Station Garden. Some litter picking has been happening on an ad-hoc basis. In Autumn, a new planter was put in at the Sheephouse Way entrance to Malden Manor Station, built by garden group volunteers. Last week, new planting was completed. The garden group has now merged with a new, larger community group that is turning a disused shop at the station into a community hub/food bank. It's great news, because litter picking and other activities can be run from here regularly.