Last night, Dennis and Angela, Learning & Enablement Worker, met with the Kensington Fields Community Association to talk about plans for the future. We are delighted that the group agreed to provide some financial support which will mean the gardening project activities will be able to continue for our service users and benefit the whole community.
Dennis plans to create an area which is open and available to the whole community. Local people will be able to grow their own flowers, fruit and veg from seed. There will be chickens and bee hives, raised beds, a greenhouse and a play area for children.
The grant will pay for equipment and materials, provision of disabled access, ensuring the area is secure and will be reinvested to maintain, sustain the project as well as helping with the running costs of training and educating volunteers.
The gardening sessions will be available to all our service users, including people who have slept rough, are living in hostels and struggling to stay in their own homes. It will offer an opportunity to learn new skills and gain qualifications. Our service users will be able to enjoy a couple of hours of peace, do some gentle exercise, all in a social environment, combating isolation and loneliness. Each person will take ownership of their own raised beds and take the produce home with them.
Dennis says, “It’s great that I can give something back to the Whitechapel Centre who helped me so much. I’m working with lads who may have spent the night sleeping rough and it helps that I know what that is like. When they hear my story it gives them some hope that they can change their situations too.”
The Whitechapel Centre hopes the project will help to strengthen links with our local community and help residents develop an understanding of homelessness and the issues facing our service users. We are very grateful to Kensington Fields Community Association for their support.