Gardening is a great leveller – as we work together to create vegetable beds, put up polytunnels or cook up lunch, it matters not whether you are 65 and have run a school or 25 and have been an early school leaver. We believe that through involvement in community gardens we can learn so much from each other and break down barriers and stereotypes.
Early on, Grow decided that the makeup of our gardens should reflect the makeup of the local population. However we recognised that for particular groups we would need to make a special effort to ensure that they would receive the information on the garden as well as get additional support to participate.
In 2010 we established a partnership with Bryson One Stop Service for Asylum Seekers and Refugees. We worked with Bryson to advertise the opportunity to their target group and as a result a recruited a number of participants from a range of countries including Eritrea and the USSR.
Ensuing involvement from different cultures added immensely to the our understanding of cultural difference. One of the really lovely developments was that we have learned much about different gardening practice from across the globe. The benefits of this aspect of the project cannot be underestimated either in terms of the garden but also in terms of the wider community integration.
As well as this Grow actively encourages mutual understanding through specialist workshops on cultural understanding and respect.
To date we have participation from people from