Green space has, time and time again, been shown to have a huge number of physical & mental health benefits and the group at Everton Community Garden are living proof. Originally set up by Friends of Everton Park in 2011 with a grant from the Clinical Commissioning Group, the garden is all volunteers and provides a green space for people to get involved in the local community twice a week. The Community Garden is one of a number of projects and activities under the umbrella of the Friends of Everton Park.
Tuesdays 10am-1pm and Fridays 1pm-4pm the garden open its gates on Prince Edwin Street, off Great Homer Street/Fox Street, and the volunteers take on a number of tasks. With flowers, fresh vegetables, and even a wood workshop there is plenty for all to do. The next-door primary school children also use the space from time to time and learn something about seeds and growing.
John Hutchison who, with wife Hillary, helps informally lead the day’s tasks said: “We do grow a lot of vegetables, flowers and get some wood-work projects done. BUT this, really, is just a vehicle for getting people from the community out and about, learning and connecting with others out into the community and being active and involved.”
The garden itself has had many volunteers over the years from young students who are happy to learn a new set of skills, retirees who want to stay active and involved in the local community to those who are particularly unwell and whose visit to the garden may be their only opportunity to leave the house and spend time with new people as they recover.
Another member of the Community Garden, Danny, told us: “One such person who was a perfect example of this was Tony Broadhurst who died recently. Tony was born and bred in the area and had never had or known a garden. He used to walk past the Community Garden every day after work and after three years, he declared one Friday evening that he had retired that day and would be on the garden the following Tuesday… and he hardly ever missed a day since then. He loved it and committed himself completely to it in his retirement, despite his poor health. He was a gentleman helper and we really miss him and his strong community spirit.”
Danny also added: “People are welcome to come along and get involved as much as they feel able to. We have people who work for hours and people who just pop in to get some veg, although we do ask for a small donation if you haven’t worked for it!”
The Community Garden takes their flowers, vegetables and wood-crafts on tour to different events around the city. Most recently you may have caught them at the Walton Hall Park Festival giving away cherries for small donations and inviting people along to the Community Garden.
If you would like to get in touch with them: Friends of Everton Park can be contacted on FOEP10@gmail.com, @FOEP10 on Twitter and @friendsofevertonpark on Instagram.
Or you can find them on Prince Edwin Street, off Great Homer Street/Fox Street on Tuesdays 10am-1pm and Fridays 1pm-4pm.