Over on the east side of Pearson Park sits a blooming lovely piece of land that is bringing the community together. Pearson Park Community Garden, based at East Lodge, just off Beverley Road, is making a vital difference within the local community, by bringing people together to grow fruit and vegetables.
The former derelict garden has been transformed as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a £3m grant for the restoration of Pearson Park in Full.
As part of the restoration, plans were developed to transform the garden into a community space, for residents to come together, learn how to garden and grow produce.
Talking about how the Community Garden has developed over recent years, Andrew Wilson, Streetcare and Open Spaces Strategic Manager for Hull City Council, said: “[This space] has been transformed. It was overgrown and you could not see it for large overgrown shrubs.
“But now that it has been cleared it is a large space which is very accessible. We have raised beds and graveled paths, so that people of all ages and abilities can get onto the site and use it – It has been a great asset.
“If it were not for the volunteers who manage it, it would not be in the shape or form that it is today. The bare bones were provided by the lottery [funding]– the fixtures and fittings – but keeping it going is all down to volunteers.”
By allowing the community to have access to this transformed shared garden, residents are thriving and enjoying personal growth, health, and well-being benefits.
As a result, many are feeling better rooted within the community – branching out to make new friendships and in turn reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation, whilst transforming lives and improving eating habits.
To continue the development of this thriving Community Garden, Hull City Council is seeking more volunteers to help with the upkeep and maintenance of the shared space.
Stacie Bentley, former volunteer, and apprentice at the Person Park Community Garden, said: “I am very proud of how far the community garden has come on since we started.
“This is our third summer, and it is proving really, really popular. Some people just come for a cup of tea and a biscuit and others come to help in the garden and escape for the day.
“The garden does really help with people’s mental health; I have been fortunate enough to have been told that.
“When my apprenticeship ends, I am going to continue volunteering here, and hopefully, we will be able to set up a charity-based scheme and keep giving to the community.”
All fruit and veg grown in the garden are 100% organic, with produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cauliflower, sprouts, broccoli, swish chard, and kale.
Councillor Rob Pritchard, the Hull City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture and Leisure, said: “The Council is thrilled to see the Community Garden in Pearson Park thriving.
“The work carried out at the garden has been truly inspiring, and as a local authority, we are grateful for the volunteers who have dedicated their time and effort to keep it running.
“It is hoped that more people will be encouraged to help enhance their local open spaces.”
Volunteer days take place on Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm at East Lodge, at the Entrance Gateway in Pearson Park, at the Beverley Road entrance.
All produce harvested is free to take away.
For more information about volunteering at the Community Garden, call 07925 361304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org