CAM Estate residents celebrates end of successful community gardening project
Published by Nadia Khan for Brent Housing Partnership in Housing and also in Communities, Environment, Local Government
CAM estate gardening project
Local residents alongside councillors, Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) officers and Wates Living Space (BHP’s Repairs and Maintenance contractor) representatives celebrated the end of the first stage of a very successful community gardening project on the CAM Estate in Cricklewood.
The celebrations took place on the CAM Estate with attendees enjoying a barbeque and live musician in the garden which they helped to create.
The gardening project started in April 2014 after residents had spoken to BHP officers about improving the aesthetics of their estate. Working closely with BHP and Wates, the residents have worked together to plant more flowers in the entrance areas, create a picnic area as a focal point on the estate and make use of hanging baskets in communal areas and balconies. They also created raised beds for food growing.
Residents of all ages met once a week with BHP and Wates staff to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers as well as painting the fences and creating a mosaic using old crockery in the picnic area.
This project has been very successful in bringing residents together and creating community cohesion. It has also had the added bonus of improving residents’ health and well being, and reducing isolation faced by some, especially older and vulnerable residents.
BHP’s Community Leadership Team have led on this project and have been applying for funding streams to keep the project going. Dakota Agyako, BHP’s Apprentice Community Engagement Officer, put in a successful funding application for £300 to O2 ‘Think Big’ and the team are looking for more funding options. The money will help to buy materials and hire a community gardener to ensure this project is sustainable. Residents are extremely motivated and have set up a working group which will continue to develop this initiative.
Ella Wiles, Community gardener who worked on the project said: “It was lovely to see everyone enjoying the space every week - eating their own produce, adding new plants and generally seeing new and old faces celebrating in making their space a reality. It couldn't have happened without BHP, Wates and residents’ hard work and I would like to say a massive thank you for everything they have put in. I've really enjoyed working on this project and get a sense it will carry on even after we have taken our hands off the wheel.”
Christina Byrne, BHP’s Community Leadership Manager said: “This project was all about getting residents on the CAM estate to come together to work on a project that was inclusive for all ages and to make the entrance to the estate more eye catching. There was a constant buzz each week and it was evident that this improved people’s health and wellbeing. We created a glorious peaceful picnic area with decking and a mosaic designed by the children. The area now has fruit trees, beautiful flowers and an herb garden which has been propagated and planted by residents.”
BHP would like to thank O2 Think Big, BHP’s Community Fund, Spark Award and Wates for sponsoring this project.