Streets Ahead champions bank £18,500 funding boost

A SOUTH side gardening charity which triumphed in last year’s Evening Times Streets Ahead Awards has been given an £18,500 funding boost.

South Seeds, named 2015 overall winner as well as best community initiative has received the cash from Waitrose.

The store raised the money in branches through the 5p carrier bag charge.

General manager Lucy Gillie said: “It’s a fantastic boost for us and we are delighted to be able to use it to fund our projects in Glasgow.

“We have an incredibly busy summer coming up, with lots going on, so it is very welcome.”

South Seeds covers Govanhill, Queen’s Park, Strathbungo, Crosshill and East Pollokshields, transforming abandoned wastelands into beautiful gardens, providing energy efficiency advice, running sessions on growing food and reducing waste and bringing neighbours together for community events.

The group’s newest site, the Urban Croft at the edge of Queen’s Park recreation ground, is blooming following months of digging, planting and weeding carried out by the band of dedicated growers and gardeners.

“We have had such a great response to the Croft – it has been really popular,” added Lucy.

“We are going from strength to strength.”

Two other charities benefitted from Waitrose grants – Green Routes, which helps people with additional support needs, in Stirling and the Edinburgh Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Tina Varns, Waitrose Community, Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing Manager said: “We take our environmental responsibility as a grocery retailer very seriously and are committed to reducing waste and treading lightly on the environment.

“All three charities make a vital contribution to their local communities; whether it’s providing support to children and families when they most need it, providing training in horticulture or improving green spaces.”

Waitrose signed up to Zero Waste Scotland’s Carrier Bag Commitment, ensuring that funds raised from the charge that was introduced by the Scottish Government in October 2014, go to charities across Scotland.

Entries have been pouring in for this year’s awards, hosted by Glasgow City Council and supported by our partners Scottish Fire and Rescue, City Charitable Trust, Glasgow Housing Association and ScotRail. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the Winter Gardens at the People’s Palace on June 15.