News

Walker Street residents are growing their own

Release Date: 28-Jun-2012
Tenants at Walker Street retirement housing in Thornhill Lees will soon be enjoying the fruits of their labour, thanks to a new grow-your-own project that has just been launched at the grange.
Walker Street tenant Dot Tidball with her sisters Christine Greenlees & Barbara Fisher, and Groundwork volunteer Dave Paul.

Walker Street tenant Dot Tidball with her sisters Christine Greenlees & Barbara Fisher, and Groundwork volunteer Dave Paul.

Joined by members of the local community friends and family, around 20 residents attended the launch, where they planted flowers, fruit and vegetables in new raised beds, which have been built by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) to give the grange’s gardening club a more useable garden space. The group has also been supported by a grant from the council’s Food Initiative and Nutrition Education team and the NHS Eat Well for Life project.

Staff from KNH and Groundwork ran a variety of activities at the event, including making bird feeders, tips on planting vegetables in the raised beds and how to do bee surveys in the garden. After working up a big appetite participants tucked into lunch, which was freshly prepared by volunteer Karen Thomas, who runs a fortnightly lunch club at Walker Street.

Tenant Dot Tidball said, “It’s been a lovely day and I’ve really enjoyed making bird feeders.” But Dot and the other Walker Street gardeners won’t be putting their feet up while nature takes its course; they are now planning a monthly gardening session to make sure the garden stays well-tended.

Cllr Cathy Scott, the Cabinet member responsible for housing, said: “these kinds of projects are a good way of bringing different groups of people together. They’re also an important way to help older people live life to the full, which is a key priority for the council.”

Carly Webster, KNH’s Older People’s Activity Coordinator, explained, “The aim of the project is to help our older residents be more active and eat more healthily. It’s also a great way of encouraging them to get together and to reduce the isolation that older people often feel.”

As part of its commitment to creating successful communities, KNH is working with other organizations and local people on council estates across Kirklees to develop grow-your-own schemes and community gardens.