13 May 2022

Funding boost gives neighbourhood the chance to create a community garden

The Wyndham Park community were lacking an outdoor communal space and have transformed a piece of unusable land.
Vyv and Kate at the community garden

A funding boost from the company for a neighbourhood in Yeovil has allowed residents to enhance their community garden.

The Wyndham Park community were lacking an outdoor communal space and have transformed a triangular piece of otherwise unusable land and turned it into something special with it being the ideal area for people to come together.

The garden, which was created by the residents for everyone, was used a lot during the lockdowns, particularly by people living in flats with no gardens to go to. 

As restrictions were eased, residents could gather there to get to know each other and start rebuilding the community.

So that they could update the furniture, residents applied for a LiveWest grant of nearly £700. With the financial support and the effort put in by the residents they have made something lasting which everyone can enjoy. 

Shona Stone, our Community Connector, said: “This piece of land has been used as an outdoor space to help with community cohesion and to provide a resource for residents to get to know each other which they may not have had.

“We have community gardens in some of our communities, but it’s great to see the whole community maintaining flower boxes and growing vegetables which are then shared out across the community.

This community garden offers more than just the opportunity to grow flowers and produce, but also acts as a great meeting place for residents to use.

The garden won an ‘RHS It's Your Neighbourhood’ award in the ‘Community Garden and Allotment' category for the Yeovil in Bloom competition last year and the prize was a gift voucher to spend on the community garden.

LiveWest resident, Vyvyenne Burt, who lives on the estate also won gold in the ‘Seasonal Garden’ category for her front garden. She is an active member of the community, chairing the Wyndham Park Residents Association and is a Parish Councillor. 

Vyvyenne Burt said: “As I saw the need for the community garden grow, I applied for a grant from LiveWest to buy new furniture which would improve accessibility. Furniture can now be configured according to need. 

“We have found interest in the garden has grown residents help in informal ways and very often plants and vegetables are donated. We have also used the community garden for various fund-raising events. 

“Wyndham Park community garden has always been well used since LiveWest donated to it. Over the years, it has been tended to by various residents.

“It’s heart-warming to see how a small space has engendered feelings of wellbeing, the formation of new friendships and a feeling of togetherness.” 

The Yeovil in Bloom initiative is managed and funded by Yeovil Town Council and delivered with the support of South Somerset District Council (SSDC).

The neighbourhood uses the community garden as a meeting point where they have hosted litter picks from there and used it as a social place to gather for tea and coffee. So, it has benefited the area in more ways than a garden would.

Shona said: “So not only do we have residents that put time and effort into the community garden for the benefit of all, but also an individual whose front garden was entered into the competition and received recognition for that too.”

“With some financial support from LiveWest, all the effort the residents have put into their community garden has resulted in them being rewarded by Yeovil in Bloom. I think that’s fantastic.”

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