Champion Mead: The Urban Meadow
The Putting Down Roots group at St Mungo’s homeless charity in Bristol got off to a great start with their grow wild project ‘Champion Mead Urban Meadow’. They have been transforming an area of the local park at Champion Square and were joined by students from Bristol Steiner School, for a fun day of planting a variety of native plants for the wild flower area. Lots of passers-by stopped to find out more about Grow Wild and what they were doing.
Putting Down Roots project leader, Rubyjo Narbey, said, “our gardening group really enjoyed the help and enthusiasm of the young people who wanted to do something positive for a local charity and the environment. We achieved a lot together and boosted local interest in improving our park for everyone to enjoy.”
The Putting Down Roots project involves homeless people in a range of gardening activities to provide rehabilitation through structured enjoyable activities and community involvement. The project aims to tackle social isolation, develop self-esteem and confidence, and provide job skills and training. St Mungo’s help homeless people to put down their own roots – and what better way to strengthen community than by creating a beautiful garden in a public space.
Jayne, a member of Putting Down Roots, said: “I like working outside, but it’s not just about being outside it’s about the people; we have an eclectic mix. It doesn’t matter what problems you have or who you are. We’re a family. We’re concerned for each other. There’s no pressure, just encouragement in a safe environment.”
Jayne went on to explain how the project has helped her, “I now have my own place. I have a patio and am planting pots, and my son is helping me. I have something in common with him now and we have a connection through gardening.”
Rubyjo says: “Jayne has blossomed, it’s encouraging to watch her interest in plants develop. She has more responsibility within the team now and has stepped up to the mark. It’s exciting to see her interest grow beyond the work she does at St Mungo’s.”
The Champion Mead Urban Meadow will become a flourishing wild flower area in this previously uninspiring corner of the park which is a highly used walk-through for local schools, businesses and residents. Lots of people wanted to get more involved, especially with the bulb planting that will be taking place later in the year.
The Putting Down Roots group has already conducted some local research with the many passers-by about what they want to see in the park and to share their plans for their Grow Wild project. We’re looking forward to seeing this space come alive. Their next event is a community celebration open day with live entertainment, face-painting and a BBQ on Sunday 7th August.
See more photos from Champion Mead Urban Meadow on our Facebook page.