From (L-R) Gareth Hughes, Founding Co-Director of Real Junk Food Project Birmingham, Ernie Holmes, Summerfield Residence Association, Chris Rickards, Trust Convenor for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals, Dale McPhee, Assistant Manager of Regulatory and Policy Compliance and Estelle Greenwood, Project Facillitator for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals

Aug 19th 2015

Greenhouse area renovated by volunteers

GREEN FINGERED volunteers from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and Lloyds Bank have teamed up for the second time in six weeks to breathe new life into an overgrown garden, giving local people more opportunities to grow their own produce.

After the first collaboration between the two organisations at Rowley Regis Hospital brought tears of joy to the eyes of elderly patients, the group of volunteers from Lloyds Bank were so touched that their efforts made such a difference, they contacted the trust to say they wanted to do it again.

This time it was the City Hospital site in the spotlight with an exciting community greenhouse project providing an opportunity for the groups to join with volunteers from the Summerfield Residence Association. These volunteers tend the garden once a week, aiming to improve the greenhouse area at City Hospital.

Project Facilitator for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Estelle Greenwood said: “We were delighted when Lloyds contacted us to volunteer for another day. We welcomed 18 volunteers who attended from as far away as Edinburgh, East Anglia and Manchester to support the Greenhouse Project we set up at City Hospital some months ago.”

Lloyds donated £200 towards the project to help buy membrane and bark to tidy up current paths around the greenhouses and stop weeds growing through, making better looking and safer pathways.

“We like to take part in events like this and with many of us coming from different parts of the U.K, Birmingham is a very central and easy place for us all to meet” said Dale McPhee, assistant manager of regulatory and policy compliance team for Lloyds Bank.

“It’s been a fantastic day and we a delighted to support such a fantastic project.”

The Real Junk Food Project provided the catering for the event after one of the volunteers from their café made them aware of the event.

“A few of our volunteers joined the gardeners to help with something close to our hearts. We are passionate supporters of community grow schemes as our aim is to abolish avoidable food waste,” said Gareth Hughes, Founding Co-Director of the Birmingham branch of the Real Junk Food Project.

As well as the greenhouses and areas around them being renovated, the break room next to the garden has been decorated by the children of the local nursery to make a more homely place to convene for the volunteers.

“The nursery kids have done a great job in decorating the meeting room with butterflies and healthy eating plates,” Estelle said.

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