Volunteers help create residents’ garden in a week

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Staff from Wales & West Housing, Cambria Maintenance and Hafal volunteered to create a kitchen garden in just a week for residents living in Wrexham.

Backed by £500 funding from AVOW for a greenhouse and £500 from Keep Wales Tidy for tools, plants, compost bins a wheelbarrow and first aid kit, the volunteers worked with Hafal residents and their carers to turn a back yard into a pleasant garden. Within a week, Cambria Maintenance laid the foundations and volunteers built raised beds so that residents can now grow their own fruit and vegetables and enjoy healthy meals.

Karen Edwards, Wrexham and Flintshire Practice Leader for Hafal, said: “There was a lot of wasted space at the back of the garden and residents wanted to explore how they could use it, so we approached Vy Cochran, Community Development Project Officer from Wales & West Housing, to ask for support. Vy helped us to secure funding from Keep Wales Tidy and AVOW and we also worked with Environmental Assistant Sarah Willcox and other partners to transform the yard into a garden.”

Encouraged by this support, 10 residents formed a committee and planned the garden makeover. They also received training on healthy eating and cooking, and gained a recognised horticultural qualification Agored Cymru Level 1 in Horticulture & Community Gardening.

Shane Hughes, Keep Wales Tidy Project Officer, said: “We’re happy to support a community initiative like this – it ticks all the boxes and I look forward to seeing Hafal Home Grown produce in the future.”

Vy Cochran, Community Development Project Officer from Wales & West Housing, said: “It’s brilliant that we’ve seen this garden grow.”

Environmental Assistant Sarah Willcox agreed. “We’re very proud of this – the partnership between all the different organisations has worked well, making it a great community project for residents.”

Sam Hughes, NE Wales Area Manager for Hafal, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved – this is such a fantastic opportunity for our residents and we hope the project will grow and grow.”