In 2010 the staff and young people from Wolverhampton Positive Futures took ownership of the Strawberry Patch Community Garden. Situated in a quiet cul de sac at the back of some bungalows that house a lot of elderly residents; the garden had been neglected for a long time, was overgrown with weeds and was attracting ASB.
The group decided that they would work with the elderly residents to restore the garden back to its former glory, not only providing the community with a space to be proud of and to enjoy whilst also changing the perceptions the different age groups held towards one another. The young people also successfully applied for a Prince’s Trust Community Cash Grant to help them fund the project.
Over the summer the group cleaned out all of the litter, weeded and replanted the beds, re-laid the gravel paths and repaired and painted the garden furniture. Their hard work had an immediate impact and the garden was once more a space for the community to enjoy.
Proud of their achievements the group then planned and ran a community lunch on the site and catered for and entertained the elderly residents.
Neil Guest, the Project Worker that lead the group said “I’m very proud of the efforts the young people have made not only in improving the space but also in building strong relationships with the elderly residents. Both of the groups have learnt a lot from each other and are looking forward to continuing to build on their friendships and improve the garden further”.
As a result of their hard work and the impact that they made on the garden and the wider community the group won the 2010 Community Space Challenge Regional Award for the Midlands and East from Keep Britain Tidy. Then at the awards ceremony in Bournemouth in March 2011 they were proudly presented as National Winners.