Highly Commended – Jasmine Road Community Gardens
The amazing volunteers from this group provide an inclusive environment for people to grow and were a well-deserving joint Highly Commended awardee in this category.
|Develop a community led organic garden providing work experience and employability training to people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and long term unemployment.|
Reason for nomination:
|‘Jasmine Road’ was originally a satellite project of the wonderful ‘St Thomas’s Community Network’. Tragically the withdrawal of support funding in 2010 started the demise of the network and in 2014 the heart-breaking decision to close Jasmine Road was made. Sadly the network folded a year later, however former Chief Officer Janet Hilken and husband Charlie couldn’t bear to see the gardens close. The transformation has been remarkable from a financial resource sapping small educational project to a self-supporting organic garden enterprise involving courses in all manner of horticulture incorporating those with disability, mental health issues and the hard to employ. The project also involves local schools in their work and hold numerous open days where produce growing competitions are held and plants sold. The enterprise also encourages local craft classes to use the premises which have recently been secured by community grants with fencing and rather grand gates. This community enterprise has helped hundreds of people and given pleasure to many more. It really is a growing tribute to the wonderful volunteers whom I believe deserve recognition for the countless hours served in the interest and betterment of others.|