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FROM green-fingered growers to creative kids, our Streets Ahead Awards pay tribute to the men, women and young people making our city a better place to live and work.
Our community campaign, which brings people together to improve the city for all, rounds off its eighth successful year with a fantastic prizegiving ceremony at the City Chambers on June 18.
Hosted by Glasgow City Council and supported by our other Streets Ahead partners City Charitable Trust and City Building, the event is a joyful celebration of the great groups and inspiring individuals who have transformed communities throughout Glasgow over the last 12 months.
There will be eight trophies presented – best garden, best clean-up campaign, best environmental initiative, best community garden, best community initiative and best green business, plus a schools award and an overall champion which will be chosen from the winners of all the other categories.
Today we reveal who is in contention for the Best Community Garden and Best School Awards.
BEST COMMUNITY GARDEN
Friends of Pacitti Garden
Eight years ago, a group of Kinning Park residents got together to transform a derelict piece of land at the back of a row of shops into a community garden.
It has grown into a much-loved, well-used hub for local people, charities, schools, nurseries and businesses. As well as giving people the chance to grow their own flowers and food, it welcomes members of the local Sense Scotland branch, runs community events and intergenerational projects and more.
In The Back Garden in Finnieston, a fine group of volunteers have turned a ‘dumping ground’ into a thriving and welcoming community garden.
There is space to grow food, a wildflower area, and compost bins. Working closely with the Glasgow Gaelic School, it inspires and educates local children, and the group has hosted Open days with the nearby housing association in a bid to encourage healthy eating.
Help Yourself Grow (HYG) Gardening Group
This groundbreaking programme was set up to deliver gardening training to people with a learning disability or autism. The Glasgow group is based on land beside the Jeely Playzone in Castlemilk, which they have helped to turn into a garden and community growing space. There is a sensory garden and a mini orchard and the whole place has become a much-loved community asset. The volunteers and HYG trainees work with local primary schools and organisations and the gardens have attracted attention from other projects keen to find out more.
Gail Cochrane, who nominated the group, says: “We are a very good example of community working together to create something great.”
Woodlands Community Development Trust
Around 50 households grow their own fruit in the popular community garden run by the Trust on West Princes Street.
There is much more to the space, which has become a force for positive community-led change in Woodlands. Volunteers from a range of backgrounds including asylum seekers and people with autism, get involved and food grown in the garden is used in the Trust’s free weekly community cafe.
One volunteer summed it up. “When I first came to garden I was alone and disconnected – Woodlands Garden helped me gain confidence and meet new friends. We have grown stronger together.”
Jimmy Dunnachie Family Learning Centre
The kids at Jimmy Dunnachie and the older members of Rainbow Day Care Centre have the time of their lives when they get together. The nursery’s intergenerational project is turning a small plot in the grounds into a community garden for use by all.
St Denis Primary School
The mighty pupils of St Denis Primary in Dennistoun are regularly out clearing up litter and maintaining planters at the nearby railway station. They have a raft of eco initiatives on the go and the wider community is delighted by their fantastic efforts.
King’s Park Secondary
The young people of the school’s Achieve and Duke of Edinburgh classes have been hard at work in Linn Park, clearing paths and helping to install a new ‘fairy trail’, providing local people with a beautiful new place to walk.
Burnbrae Childrens Centre
In a fantastic project, Burnbrae kids visit local care homes, building up relationships and trust between the generations and helping to boost the children’s confidence and social skills.
Every session begins with a round of hugs – and ends with smiles all round.
Don’t miss the Evening Times tomorrow for more of this year’s sensational Streets Ahead finalists.