The project to renovate Manchester Gardens, a small patch of land on the Seven Sisters Road, was designed to bring HAGA service-users and local residents together
What no-one expected was that the resulting garden would win one of London’s most prestigious awards.
Manchester Gardens did not have a good reputation. A neglected piece of ground, it was often frequented by street drinkers and did little to promote the work of HAGA, whose recovery service is nearby, in the eyes of those living in the area. HAGA, with Groundwork London, saw an opportunity to transform the space and break down some of the stigma related to alcohol misuse in the process.
The project was a collaboration between Groundwork London, London Borough of Haringey, HAGA and local residents
Work began in earnest in 2013, with local residents and service-users clearing shrubs and weeds before planting a range of bulbs, plants and fruits. Over time, what started as ‘work’ became a more social activity, with service-users and local residents, driven by the a shared interest in the project, discussing their ideas over tea and cake.
The transformation of Manchester Gardens has been stunning
Local residents, and those visiting the Haringey Recovery Service, are delighted with the results. In fact, the results are so good that the gardens won the London in Bloom 2014 Silver Gilt award. Bernadette Kennedy, Groundwork’s Community Gardener said,
Everyone working on the project is thrilled that their effort has been recognised and rewarded. But it’s the newfound camaraderie between service-users and local residents that is the real winner.
“It’s been a genuine success story of gardening against the odds and we’re thrilled that this success has been recognised by London in Bloom with this award, it’s a real credit to all the volunteers who’ve been involved”.