Elim residents and staff have been working with local organisations and community members to update and redesign the garden at Taylor House.
The revamped garden plans include a new compost bin, vegetable garden, memorial garden and BBQ site. The first harvest is destined for a communal roast, cooked by residents at The Phoenix Centre Matson – Taylor House’s lottery-funded community centre neighbours. This will involve a harvest and cooking workshop organised by Support Administrator Hydie Hornby, helping to enhance the skills and wellbeing of participants.
The garden project is a real team effort, managed by Supported Housing Officer Helen Francis alongside a number of green-fingered residents. Resident Representative Ben Pullom is leading on garden construction, while his partner Korrina Rogers is leading on the landscape design. Artist Korrina recently met with professional landscape designers Sue Parry and Kevin Symonds, who offered their expertise to help make the project a success.
One resident, Wayne, has been busy designing and building the new compost bin for the new vegetable garden. Wayne said: “It’s easy enough to build when you know how. I’m looking forward to the first batch of veg”.
The project has received fantastic donations and support from the local community. Lidl Gloucester kindly provided bags of compost for the project, secured by maintenance team member Dennis Ward, while the local community in Matson gathered up scrap wood to be repurposed in the garden construction. Martin Henshaw, chair of Gloucester-based charity HaVinG, has also offered his support with a grant application.
The garden project has been a valuable opportunity for residents to gain new skills, and create a communal space they can all enjoy once lockdown restrictions ease.