Poole Housing Partnership has been working with PHP residents and the wider community to help them set up their own communal gardening projects since 2012. These projects give local communities the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables and learn new skills, but even more importantly they bring people together.
There are now Community Gardens at Turlin Moor (TMCG – beside the shops), Poole Town (PTCG - next to the Car Park in Perry Gardens), Alderney West (AWCG – at the bottom of Bedford Rd North) and Sterte Court (SCG). All are open 24/7 to anyone and everyone, and are run by local residents with support from PHP. Well over 1000 people have been involved in these projects so far, as well as local schools, Children’s Centres and nurseries and various other organisations. There are also smaller projects at 14 of PHP’s Sheltered Housing communities.
Clare Sutton, who coordinates the overall project, said: "It’s just brilliant how local residents have taken ownership of their projects and driven them forward, and each is developing in its own way. For example, at Turlin Moor they specialise in really fun community events, whereas Poole Town always produces the best crops! Alderney West is expanding each year, and this year is turning more derelict land into ‘wildflower meadow’. The baby of the bunch, Sterte, is bursting with ideas, including ‘minion’ compost bins, a ‘cabbage patch’ sale and a ‘book shed’! The Sheltered projects are on a much smaller scale but people join in in lots of ways – for example with gardening, providing refreshments, donating tools or money – and buy or receive some of the food produced.”
PHP resident Gill Akejder, who has been involved in helping oversee the overall project from the start and leads one of the 14 smaller sheltered projects, added:
“We think of ourselves as a family, which grows each year, and where the members support and nurture each other. I think it’s really enlightened that PHP supports residents to do these things for themselves, and I would really encourage residents to go down and find out what’s going on and maybe pick up some locally grown beans or tomatoes at the same time!”
If you’d like to get involved, there are weekly drop in gardening sessions from February to November at TMCG (Wednesdays) and PTCG (Tuesdays), both 3.15-4.45pm, and at TMCG 1.30-3pm most Fridays. There are also weekly drop ins at Alderney West Community Garden (AWCG) on Thursdays from 4-5.30pm. For more details and event information at each community garden please see the newsletters in the Related Documents link on the right.
Take a look at the first year of Poole Town Community Garden in photos!
If you would like to know more about these projects or might be interested in getting involved, Roots please contact Clare Sutton on 01202 264316 or C.Sutton@poole.gov.uk