A little oasis in Ponders End

Local school children have spear-headed a lush garden in Ponders End in the hope that it will inspire healthy eating, wellbeing and community spirit. 

Amateur gardeners including Ria Roopchund and Princess Agyekum, with the guidance of Oasis Community Hub Hadley youth worker Kadisha James Fergus and a gardening mentor from the charity MIND have created a space which would be the envy of Alan Titchmarsh. 

Situated in the grounds of Oasis Academy Hadley School, the garden features runner beans, strawberries, apples, tomatoes, radishes, beetroots and all manner of herbs, plants and flowers. As well as honing their gardening skills, the pupils are using their upcycling skills too – discarded plastic bottles are used to segregate the beds, for example.

The two students were inspired to get involved after trying to find an extra-curricular club to join. The Community Hub has helped them transform an unloved and unused area at their school.

The garden was given a financial boost by Tesco’s Bags of Help fund which aims to help fund local projects.

Princess said: “I don’t have a garden at home, so this is like my own little garden. I love the fresh fruit and vegetables, they taste so different.” Ria added, “It’s good to see what mother nature can offer.”

Ria, Princess and other pupils have had the opportunity to take home their fresh produce from the garden to eat and cook. They have also distributed for free some of their harvest to the community, getting a particularly fantastic reaction to their strawberries. Out of term-time, children and young people attending the summer club were encouraged to look after the garden, making this a truly communal project.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Achilleas Georgiou, said: “The work at this garden really is wonderful. There are some wonderful community activities going on all across Enfield and we want to help you shout out about your hard work. Well done Princess and Ria – you are inspiring us to eat healthily, get active and to give something back locally. You are setting a very good example for us all.”

If you are involved in a community project in Enfield, shout about it by tweeting us, using the hashtag #ILoveEnfield.

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