Sawyers Close Residents Association secure £9,864 funding for Eco Gardening Project

Sawyers Close Residents Association’s lottery bid for just under £10,000 has been accepted by the Lottery Awards for All fund.

The group are now delivering their project plan and are working with partners to help them develop the project. Following the creation of a gardening club, the group are committed to establishing themselves further with the creation of a community garden.

With the help of the funding, they hope to develop a community garden that provides raised beds to grow vegetables and plants as well as to buy extra tools. The group also want to develop wild gardens on the estate to encourage wildlife.

Local residents came up with The Eco Gardening project when they were looking to create a community garden. Together in partnership, Radian, the WEA and the Sawyers Close Resident’s Association have worked hard to achieve their goal.

The first stages included the creation of a gardening group and research, which was carried out by our Neighbourhood and Income teams, looking at health statistics in the area. People feeling isolated or lonely was a common finding in the research. In addition, chronic illnesses and mental health were found to be problems many people in the area are facing.

As a result of their research, the Sawyers Close Residents Association with Radian and WEA, set up a gardening club. The club is open to anyone and it’s hoped that it will see people from all walks of life who are living in Sawyers Close get involved. In turn, this will help those who might be feeling socially isolated or who are coping with chronic or mental health problems to meet new people and share experiences.

The project is connecting people in the Sawyers Close area. Last winter, the Gardening Club met up to begin gardening activities, including planting salad crops to grow in windowsills.

Now that summer is here, and the first raised beds have been made and planted up, and the group is seeing more people get involved. There are around 19 members of the club, with many involved in weeding and watering activities.

Residents already involved in the project are really enjoying and benefitting from it: “Tonight, was great fun! I’m so pleased to be getting to know neighbours and having the growing projects to bring home. Really looking forward to the next session.”

“Being part of the community is really important to me and the gardening activities helps me with my confidence and anxiety. It also makes me feel useful and worthwhile as I can help other people in the garden!”