Our wacky aim is to turn our bleak streets into an 'inner city garden suburb' and to cheer everyone up. And as the North East's most ethnically diverse neighbourhood, we really mean everybody is included.
I Chair the Greening Wingrove & Arthur's Hill CIC, a residents' environmental community association. We aim to 'clean and green' where we live, and build neighbourliness in ways that will cope with the impacts of climate change.
And the 'we' includes a network of 20-plus neighbours who have shown that you can make our place brighter, more attractive, more bio-diverse, more edible. We do this chiefly by spreading vertical veg growing in tiny terraced front garden patches and in back yards. It works and it grows. We share knowledge, seeds, and food that we've grown, and we draw on skills from Newcastle resident Mark Risdell Smith, one of the country's leading experts in this kind of urban horticulture.
The money we raise will expand our scheme over the current season. It'll attract more people into taking part, bringing together neighbours from a huge variety of ethnic backgrounds.
Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, we'll offer on-line Zoom sessions to to support the vertical veg network and involve new members. And we can arrange to provide starter gardening packs to help people get under way.
Our other aim is to encourage bringing neglected gardens back into food growing use by offering both advice and also water butts to recycle rain water into gardens.
And we'll publish and promote a programme of vertical veg sessions to raise the profile of what we're doing.