Joinery apprentices from Lindum have used their woodwork skills to support the construction of a new community garden in uphill Lincoln.
Tyler Dixon and Dylan Donohoe worked alongside dozens of other volunteers to help establish Hillside Community Garden on land between Lincoln County Hospital and the city’s Tower Estate.
The pair spent almost a week boarding out an old shipping unit so it could be used by Green Synergy, the charity which has spearheaded the garden project. Their work was unveiled to the public as part of the garden’s official opening on Friday, June 7th.
Tyler and Dylan worked alongside other volunteers and under the guidance of Lindum apprentice manager Jim West.
Jim said: “Lindum is delighted to support such a great project. It’s been wonderful to see how Green Synergy and its supporters are transforming an empty space into such a valuable community asset.
“The work we are doing here offers our apprentices valuable practical experience and gives them chance to see the kind of impact their work can have on a community.”
The 2.5 acre garden features a community lawn area, allotments, raised beds, large vegetable plots, heritage orchard fruit plants, a therapeutic garden and a wildlife adventure trail, which have all been produced with the help of a dedicated band of local volunteers.
The opening marked a milestone in the ongoing work of Lincoln-based charity Green Synergy, which uses community gardening and horticultural therapy to help improve people's lives.
Led by founder and chief executive Mary Hollis and a team of skilled staff, the group works in disadvantaged communities and with vulnerable people, including those living with mental health conditions, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, long-term health problems and unemployment.
It uses gardening to build skills for life and work, improve mental and physical health and educate people about the environment, food and farming.
Mary said: “We are so excited to officially open Hillside Community Garden. This beautiful place has grown out of the brambles and litter to become a garden for everyone to enjoy.
“Gardening and access to green space are so important for people’s health and wellbeing. it’s wonderful to have this site, where we can bring a slice of the countryside right into the heart of the city.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive heart-felt thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen. The garden belongs to everyone who has been involved with it and is a resource of the whole of Lincoln.”
The garden project has been supported by local residents, community groups, schools and hospital staff and patients, local businesses and funders. It has also benefitted from a crowdfunding campaign.
During Friday’s event, guests were invited to find out more about the community garden project as well as other work Green Synergy has carried out across Lincoln. They could also take part in taster sessions and discover how to get involved in the charity’s current projects.
Mary added: “It has been fantastic have Lindum’s ongoing support and expertise. They are such a great local company that really cares about the community it works in and demonstrates by example how businesses can have a positive impact through working in partnership with small charities such as us to achieve corporate social responsibility.
“I would also like to say thank you to Jan Suberieraj and United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust for leasing the land to us. We are looking forward to working in partnership with the hospital going forwards.
“Over the next twelve months we will be adding a wheelchair accessible kitchen garden and children’s garden to the site.”