Late last year, the tenants at The Energise Centre in Salford came together to initiate a community gardening project, called "Grow Together Gardening Group," in order to revamp the courtyard space in the centre.
The project aimed to combat social isolation, improve mental health, and teach users new skills. The Big Life Group, an organisation dedicated to fighting inequality, led the project to create a wellness garden that would encourage people to eat healthily, grow their own produce, promote volunteering, keep people active, and create a calm space accessible to everyone, including tenants, visitors, and patients.
To achieve their goal, the tenants approached Luke Naylor, Community Health Partnerships (CHP) Operations and Relationship Manager (ORM), to ask for funding from CHP to support the project.
The community gardening project would underpin CHP’s Buildings @ The Heart of the Community initiative, but with no funds available, Denise Cottam, CSR Manager, began to explore alternative funding opportunities and MaST were pleased to provide funding of £400 for the project.
With the funding secured, The Big Life team set about transforming the tired and unkempt courtyard into a tranquil space, also creating attractive floral displays at the entrance to the centre.
The Energise Centre, run by The Big Life Group, delivers health and wellbeing activities to the local community to improve their physical health, mental health, combat loneliness and social isolation. The community gardening project goes some way towards encouraging people to eat healthily and grow their own produce at home after learning skills through the gardening project.
The Energise Garden Revamp is a perfect example of how a community can come together to create a space that promotes health and wellness. By providing funding for community gardening projects, organisations such as CHP, LIFTCo partner, MaST and Management Service provider gbpartnerships, are helping to create spaces that bring people together, improve their physical and mental health, and foster a sense of community.
L to R: The courtyard before the revamp / New planters at the front entrance / The courtyard after the revamp.