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In partnership with the Aldingbourne Trust, Bognor Regis Library is creating a community garden space for everyone to enjoy. Lisa Palmer the community garden project coordinator at the Aldingbourne Trust says “The garden has been a long time in the planning but we have finally started to make real progress over the last month. It has been quite a journey so far from being an underused and neglected space to it being transformed into a hive of activity.”
The aim of the project is to create an inclusive environment for people of all abilities to enjoy and relax in. The garden will also host activities by the library for children such as rhyme time and for people living with dementia.
Our first set of volunteers were staff from Southern Water who actively support the Aldingbourne Trust. Southern Water have also helped by giving a donation to towards the funding of the project, and were given the honour of ground breaking the project back in June.
Artists from the Trust’s Creative Arts Studio based at Aldwick Road, have also been hard at work creating a beautiful mural with a garden literary theme. They have created a giant bookcase and included characters from Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland. Lisa said “It is absolutely amazing and attracting many lovely comments from visitors at the library.” Peter Spencer, one of the people we support has helped with the project by creating an artists impression of the finished garden.
The Wood Recycling team at the Aldingbourne Country Centre are making some lovely seating areas for the garden to allow people at the library to be able to sit and enjoy the new community space. This area will also be used to host some of the Library’s activities. We are also making some wheelchair accessible raised beds so that people with physical disabilities can come and garden too. The Horticultural team have also been amazing at digging, and painting the fences and benches.
The Earthworks team, who are also based at the Aldingbourne Country Centre, are in the process of making a stunning peacock mosaic for our ‘Secret Sensory Garden.’ Lisa says “This will look absolutely fabulous and be the crown in the jewel of our sensory garden. Here we will have lots of different plants that have different textures, smells and shapes.”
We have also welcomed some of the people we support from York Road, one of the Trust’s residential services, who have been working hard on the graffiti logo which has been very exciting and they have all enjoyed taking part in the project.
From September we will be hosting supervised gardening sessions to help maintain the garden, on the first and second to last Saturday of each month. If you would like to take part please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call
07793 244127 for more information.
These sessions will enable the Aldingbourne Trust to offer another activity for people with learning disabilities and / or autism, thereby tackling social isolation (especially prevalent at the weekends). Lisa says “I really hope that people with disabilities and the local community can come together through a love of gardening in an inclusive environment.”