Metro Mayor Visits Grow Speke

Above: Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram at Grow Speke with South Liverpool Homes Chief Executive Julie Fadden and local young people. 

Published: 12 February 2020

A community garden in South Liverpool has been praised for its positive impact on the community and the local environment.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram recently visited Grow Speke to find out more about how this once derelict site has been transformed into a thriving hub within the area.

The project, which is managed by environmental charity Groundwork in partnership with South Liverpool Homes, runs volunteering sessions three days a week. Regular visitors include local residents, schools, community groups and businesses who want to give something back to their local area. It’s free to attend and everyone is welcome. In addition to providing opportunities to learn new skills, Grow Speke also helps people to make new friends and improve their health and wellbeing by spending time outdoors in a green space. It also hosts events and workshops throughout the year which are regularly attended by hundreds of people from the local community.  

The site grows a variety of fruit and vegetables, most of which is donated to support families on low incomes. The remainder is taken home by the volunteers themselves to be eaten at home. Facilities have recently included an apiary, which is not only helping to protect the local bee population, but also gives people the chance to learn all about beekeeping. There are plans for some of the honey produced to be sold to help support the project.

Video: Metro Mayor Visits Grow Speke

South Liverpool Homes Chief Executive Julie Fadden said; “Grow Speke really is an inspirational project and a great example of what can be achieved by working together with key partners and the local community who want to make a difference to the area. We are thrilled that the Metro Mayor has seen first-hand the progress that has been made on site and how it’s helping to improve health and wellbeing, reduce isolation and develop new skills for everyone involved – young and old.”

Mayor Rotheram said; “What was once a magnet for anti-social behaviour has been turned into a fantastic community asset that’s having a really positive local impact. Grow Speke is bringing people from all sorts of backgrounds together and offering people from all walks of life the chance to learn new skills, make friends and build a strong community spirit. The local community are rightly very proud of it – and I fully support their fantastic efforts.”

Groundwork Executive Director Andrew Darron said; “We really appreciate the Metro Mayor taking the time to visit Grow Speke and help raise awareness of the project. We’d love to see even more people and more local organisations get involved with Grow Speke and work with us to make an even bigger difference to the area and to people’s lives.”

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