The ‘Our Community Garden’ story started in September 2017 when Roupell Park Estate residents came together with ideas to rescue a garden space fenced off for over 2 years. The space became ‘owned’ fly tippers and other anti social offenders – drug users and what residents called ‘ladies of the night’.
Anxious and unsafe
Many residents felt the unused garden took away social, economic, educational and well being benefits. One, Molly, said “this derelict space has a negative impact, causing anxiety and adverse mental health, with safety implications for families, children and elderly people”.
The partnership of Roupell Park Residents Management Organisation (RMO) and local charity, Community Education Foundation & Lyncx (CEF Lyncx) began pulling together resources to investigate. With initial funding from Near Neighbours, they consulted all ages – a youth action focus group, the after-school club, seniors coffee morning, parents, community leaders and Board members. This joined-up effort secured further funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Veolia Environmental Trust to regenerate the space as a ‘Pocket park’.
Green neighbourhood campaign
Mary Simpson, RMO Chair said; ‘We see this as just the beginning of our ‘greening neighbourhood campaign’ at Roupell Park. When Our Community Garden is completed, it will deliver benefits beyond the estate to all Lambeth. It will provide an accessible garden, harness the improved physical environment and bring communities together, supporting activities and potentially, offer volunteering and learning opportunities. And above all, reduce anxieties for the community living near the space.”
The work is scheduled to complete by October. However, Navlet Williamson, local resident and Chair of CEF Lyncx; said: “Our work is not complete – we will move into phase 3, the ‘sustainability’ strategy, – community capacity building and strengthening community ownership/management so the park is preserved for community use for years”.
For more information
- CEF Lyncx is a grassroots community-led charity in the heart of Brixton and has a strong working partnership with Roupell Park RMO spanning over 5 years. “The common theme in our mission has been a good recipe for the success of our partnership” said Christian Johnson at CEF Lyncx. See their information pages
- Roupell Park RMO’s mission is ‘working together to provide high quality homes and create a fair, strong and sustainable community’. See their website