Volunteers team up to help spruce-up Hackney’s private gardens
Hackney residents’ private gardens will receive a free makeover thanks to Hackney Homes’ Garden Swap scheme.
Garden Swap, which encourages green-fingered residents to help elderly or disabled neighbour’s care for their private garden, has expanded to include local voluntary organisation GoodGym Hackney.
GoodGym Hackney is a group of runners that get fit by helping their local community. They run all over the borough and stop off at residents' homes to carry out gardening works, cleaning up and clearing gardens. The runners are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked and attend in small groups.
Hackney Homes organises for the appropriate tools to be dropped at the resident’s home, in readiness for the GoodGym runners who attend and carry out what they term as the ‘Mission’. Over 20 gardens have been attended to by the volunteer group and a few residents have also benefited from repeat visits due to the large scale of the task.
Due to the success of the project, Hackney Homes is seeking other suitable volunteer organisations to work with, helping to provide much needed support and assistance for residents.
Hoxton resident, Ms Aysun, who received three visits from GoodGym runners, said: “I have an eight metre long garden and it was like a jungle with lots of rubbish to clear. The volunteers did a good job with the clearing of the garden. They were really nice, very respectful. I couldn’t imagine it was going to be like this. I’m so happy. I would definitely recommend Garden Swap to my neighbours.”
We know that many of our residents love to garden, however, maintaining a private garden can be quite a challenge for some of our older or disabled residents. Expanding this scheme to include organisations like GoodGym, who I know have done some amazing work in Hoxton and across Hackney, makes it possible for us to increase the help available to residents who need a bit of extra support to maintain and care for their gardens.
Hackney Homes residents who would like to sign up to Garden Swap, either as a volunteer or to get some much needed help with their own garden, can contact the Estate Environment Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 8356 1934.