Gardening brings community together

A common love of gardening brought AFG supported people, staff, neighbours and the police together for a street party and BBQ.  

 Staff from Somerset House, a flat scheme for adults with learning disability and mental health issues, joined forces with tenants from across the road to plant hanging baskets, troughs and tubs.

Andrea Doherty, Team Leader at Somerset House in Ashton-under-Lyne, said: “This was the first time we’d engaged in this way. We enter the Royal Horticultural Society gardening in bloom awards every year because we have a large back garden. But this year our neighbours wanted to get involved because they live in flats with limited gardening space. We have more grassed area and they wanted to help.

“So, we formed a gardening group called “Growing Friends”. The street party was a great way to meet and greet.”

Eleven supported people from Somerset House got involved, one from St Ann’s and three from New Charter, AFG’s housing provider. Local Police also joined the BBQ. Plants and hanging baskets were donated to Hyde Police station in memory of PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone who were were fatally injured in Mottram, Tameside, in 2012 while on duty.

 Andrea added: “On behalf of everyone at Somerset House and the staff, I’d like to say a huge thank you to New Charter and to our neighbours. We can’t wait for the next one.  It was good to bridge that gap. Now when we say hello we are no longer strangers, we are friends.”