A group of Maidstone residents are working together to create an outdoor space intended for the enjoyment of others.
Golding Homes residents Vincent Jasper and John Rose have joined forces to transform the community garden at their local day centre on Titchfield Close, Maidstone.
“After chatting to the other residents at Titchfield Close, John and I started thinking about a garden project for our area,” said Vincent.
“We wanted to give our neighbours the opportunity to grow their own vegetables and plants so decided to build some raised planters in the community garden.
“We applied for Golding’s Community Chest Fund to help us buy materials and equipment and were delighted when our application was approved.”
Wellies and wellbeing
Vincent and John are enthusiastic about creating a project that not only provides a communal area where residents can spend time together doing something they enjoy, but helps improve their mental wellbeing.
“It is a fun project to work on and is really helping to build community spirit amongst the residents at Titchfield Close – everyone is getting involved,” said John.
“We are providing an area for residents to grow flowers and food and helping to battle social isolation that some of our neighbours may feel.
“It is evident that everyone living here takes pride in their gardens, and we are expanding on this enthusiasm with our project.
“The new raised beds will also help people with mobility issues to get involved as they will be able to sit and work with ease.”
Terry Molloy, who moved into his home at Titchfield Close, Maidstone, 11 years ago, said: “There is a real sense of community here at Titchfield, we take care of each other – this garden has inspired the people that live here.
“The joint idea between John and Vince has taken nearly a year to mature, but we are nearly there.
“It is the beginning of a new project for the Titchfield Close community.”
Golding Homes community development advisor Sarah Leipnik said: “The work that Vincent and John are doing is amazing, and really inspiring to others.
“Gardening is a fantastic form of exercise, which really benefits mental and physical health.
“I am delighted that we have been able to help them with funding through our Community Chest Fund and can’t wait to see people enjoying the finished garden.”
Fellow Golding resident Pat Seeney loves gardening and is very much looking forward to some homegrown produce.
“Vincent and John have done so well in getting the garden off the ground,” she said.
“I have my own raised planting bed in the communal garden and I can’t wait to start planting and growing some vegetables.”
Vincent added: “Working on the Community Garden has given us a great opportunity to work together, whilst providing a long-term sustainable outside space for people to enjoy,” said Vincent.
“The funding from Golding Homes has helped us massively – without that, we wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of materials or equipment and see our plans come to life.
Work started on the garden earlier this year, though was delayed when the Coronavirus lockdown came into effect and residents started shielding.
“The lockdown has slowed down the process of transforming the garden, but we are both really looking forward to getting back out there and finishing the work,” said Vincent.
“We will hopefully be planning a party once the garden is finished, so we can celebrate with our neighbours.
“By us all working together, we are providing an area that everyone can enjoy for many years to come.”
The group is also working on creating a wildlife pond and garden to attract bees and butterflies to the area.
Golding Homes owns and manages just under 8,000 homes in Kent, providing homes for over 21,000 people in nine local authority areas.
Main image: Golding Homes residents John Rose (left) and Vincent Jasper (right) in the community garden at Titchfield Close, Maidstone
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