Pitch For Your Project Case study #3

Caldicot Castle Community Garden

Community Castle Garden was set up set up as a wellbeing opportunity that provides a recreational environment, for gentle exercise. It's a place where people can learn horticultural skills, meet new people, develop friendships and networks of support, thus improving resilience and mental wellbeing. A great Summer last year resulted in their best year for growing fruits and vegetables. A local pub and florist in the village kindly displayed the surplus produce to sell at a reduced cost and the donations help us to keep the project sustainable.

The project is open to all members of the community, of all ages and they work in partnership with Social Services, Volunteering for Wellbeing, Hafal and our very own Support and Engagement teams. By working in partnership with so many different groups, they are able to specifically recruit people who may be feeling isolated, although anyone is welcome. Through mutual and reciprocal friendly peer support, they are developing a sense of community and bringing people from all different backgrounds and ages together.

They hold regular community days that tenants and other community members can get involved in. On these days the garden is a hive of activity and people can be found planting seeds, digging, weeding, taking cuttings or just sitting down on the bench and chatting over a cup of coffee.

The group has worked hard to clear areas of the site, organizing the garden into plots for growing a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Funding was requested to erect fencing around the plots within the site to protect the produce and flowers being cultivated. Monmouthshire Housing have happily funded the money to pay for the fencing that is needed and hope that the community members that use this project will see this is a sign of appreciation for all the labour of love they put into the garden. The new fence will also greatly improve the health and safety on site for the volunteers and the general public that continue to visit the community garden.

Last year tenants of MHA were very kindly given a plot to grow their own pumpkins in that we then used for Halloween events.

Quote from Alison, a tenant on the panel

I really wanted to put this group through because fencing can be very expensive for a small group but can make a huge difference and last a long time, once it has been done. I can tell from this application this project provides hours of fun, prevents loneliness and persuades people to come and enjoy fresh air while meeting others, enhancing their lives.

Quote from Kirsty, garden volunteer

Once again volunteers from Caldicot Garden would like to say a big thank you to MHA. The much needed funding will help us to build fencing around all the plots of our site and this will make a huge difference to our garden! It will help to protect our produce and flowers cultivated and will make the garden safe and welcoming for all our users and visitors. Thank you!

As a precaution to keep everyone safe the community garden is currently closed. Keep an eye on our social media to see when the garden will be reopened. We’re sure the group will be very grateful to have some extra green fingers to help them out. And even if your fingers aren’t that green, drop by for a cuppa and a chat in the sun.

If you have a project that will bring the community together and benefit MHA tenants but need some funding to get it off the ground, then contact Clare on 01495 745749 or clare.evans@monmouthshirehousing.co.uk