Berkeley’s The Green Quarter Community Chest programme is committed to supporting community well-being and development in Southall and Hayes, and during 2023 donated £25,000 to local organisations and initiatives. Focusing on community organisations, social enterprises, and charities; the programme offers local grants for projects in the areas of skills, training and employment, health and wellbeing, sustainability and the environment.
The latest and final donation of 2023 was awarded to the Western Road Urban Garden, a haven in the local area where residents can enjoy the outdoors, engage in exercise, and even grow their own food. Since the allocation of funding by the Greater London Authority (GLA) in 2021, the Southall Community Alliance, which runs the Western Road Urban Garden Project, and with the help of a range of partners including Southall Transition, Ealing Parks Foundation, Feeding Ealing and local schools, has undertaken a remarkable transformation of the site, a testament to the lasting impact that funding can have on communal spaces.
With this collective input, the site has blossomed into a thriving space that now boasts a wonderful allotment with an array of small fruit and vegetable plots, a community orchard, raised beds, polytunnel for growing foods, and a compostable toilet. There is a commitment here to sustaining urban agriculture, and creating a welcoming environment that encourages community members to actively participate in growing, learning, and caring for the space which has now become a vibrant community hub. The site also enjoys a network of footpaths, and a range of initiatives aimed at promoting biodiversity have been successfully implemented. Future plans include the incorporation of features such as bat boxes and beehives to positively contribute to the local ecosystem, and highlight the importance of supporting the natural world in flourishing alongside human activity.
To continue the success of the space, Janpal Basran, manager of Southall Community Alliance, comments: “Our vision for the Western Road Urban Garden has always been to create a space for the community where people can come together to socialise, exercise or simply take in the nature around them. The funds provided by The Green Quarter’s Community Chest Fund will play a pivotal role in helping us achieve this goal and deliver all we have planned for the garden, making a real difference to the community.”
Other initiatives that have benefited from Berkeley’s Community Chest Programme in 2023 include:
- ParkPlay, a weekly event held at Parkside Yards for people of all ages and abilities across the community to meet, move and play, which received £5,000.
- Creative Community Hub by Open Southall, a space for creatives of all ages and experience to make and sell ceramics, screenprints, textiles and fashion, which received a £11,850 donation.
These initiatives show Berkeley’s ongoing commitment to enhancing the local community and providing spaces and activities for residents and locals alike to learn, have fun and socialise at The Green Quarter.
To find out more about The Green Quarter’s Community Chest Programme, please visit the website.