Dulwich community garden volunteers are looking for new members

Katherine Johnston (10 August, 2019) Environment

'The gardening group is full of positive energy'

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Volunteers from a community garden at the Old Dairy Health Centre in West Dulwich are holding a drop-in day to show their neighbours what they’ve been growing and encourage more people to get involved.

beans in flower

The group, which has only been working on the garden since February, is holding the open evening on Thursday, August 22, from 6-8pm at the Croxted Road garden.

On the evening, they’ll be showing off produce, sharing healthy recipes using the food they have grown, and discussing ideas for expanding the group.

Set up by a doctor from the surgery, Rosemary Leonard, the volunteer gardeners have received glowing feedback from delighted patients.

‘The flower beds are weeded and looked after which makes the surgery entrance more welcoming,” said patient Ann, while Angela, a West Dulwich resident, said: “Walking past the front gardens brightens any visit to the surgery. It’s nice to see it being well looked after.”

Zoe Ferguson, Old Dairy Health Centre assistant practice manager, said the garden helped to make the surgery a great place to work.

“It’s been really nice to see patients enjoying the new garden spaces at the front, and to see some of them get involved as volunteers who care for all the spaces, or us as staff, to see the back garden area develop and flourish with flowers and vegetables enhances our working environment,” she said.

“We’ve really enjoyed getting involved with watering the plants.”

The GP surgery, which used to be based on Rosendale Road, moved to the new purpose-built site on Croxted Road last year, and gained permission from Dulwich Estates to create the green space.

Dr Leonard thanked volunteers for their work so far, and said the surgery was exploring how it could be used for different activities,  including therapeutic support.

“It’s been really exciting, watching the garden take shape and developing ideas for how it might be used pedobear pics.

“We hope it can become a lasting community asset for Dulwich,” she said.

Members of the volunteer group say they are keen for more to join their ranks.

Volunteer Deborah Hyde told the News:  “I’ve met lovely people from all walks of life, learned new stuff about gardening, helped shape a garden for the local community to enjoy and I’ve got to eat healthy stuff we’ve grown – what’s not to like?”

Her thoughts were echoed by volunteer Diana Maine, who said: ‘The gardening group is full of positive energy.

“We learn from each other, grow great veg and have a laugh.

“It’s inspired me to try and grow vegetables in my own garden.’

The Old Dairy Health Centre Gardening Group’s drop-in session takes place on Thursday, August 22, from 6-8pm at Old Dairy Health Centre, 9b Croxted Road, West Dulwich, SE21 8SZ.

For more information, visit https://theodhc.co.uk/

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