Community garden digs deep to support local people
Published: 5 July 2019
A community garden in Speke is donating produce it grows on site to support local people on a low income.
Grow Speke, is on the site of what used to be known as the Boy’s Club on Ganworth Road. The project is managed by Groundwork in partnership with South Liverpool Homes and run with the help of a team of volunteers.
The garden hosts sessions throughout the week where everyone is welcome to come along, meet new people over a cup of tea and a free bite to eat and learn how to grow and cook their own fresh fruit and veg. As well as regular events for local residents, it also hosts outdoor lessons for local school children and exercise classes for older people.
With much of its fruit and veg being ready to harvest over the summer, Grow Speke has recently started to donate to The Market Place, a volunteer-run community shop in Speke which offers food and essential household goods to South Liverpool Homes tenants. The Market Place also links with food charity FareShare and other local sources of food and household goods, allowing residents to gain access to essential goods at a vastly-reduced price.
Groundwork’s Executive Director Andrew Darron said: “There is something hugely inspirational about a project that is helping tackle loneliness and isolation, improve health & wellbeing, develop skills and also tackling environmental degradation – that’s also producing fresh fruit and vegetables to help feed people in their community who need a helping hand. The people of Speke are building social capital – you can see it, you can feel it – and now you can eat it too.”
Joe Cummings, South Liverpool Homes’ Enterprise Manager said: “The Market Place and Grow Speke have been set up to benefit Speke and Garston residents and it’s fantastic to see them working together to ensure local people are getting the most from these initiatives. It’s just how we imagined Grow Speke working when we launched it with Groundwork in 2016 – growing fresh food and donating it to people and families who need it the most, whilst giving people the opportunity to socialise and get active at the same time.
“Over 1,000 tenants are members of The Market Place and there’s always a need for fresh fruit and vegetables, so it’s a win-win situation all round.”
As well as providing drop in sessions throughout the week, Grow Speke is set to host a series of events over the coming months which will be suitable for all the family.