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Cause for celebration: from left, volunteers Eddue keogh and ross Andrews-Clifford, Ben Smitton from Groundwork, Linda Pearson, park ranger Julie Apps and blacksmith Tobias Cobrin.

Cause for celebration: from left, volunteers Eddie Keogh and Ross Andrews-Clifford, Ben Smitton from Groundwork, greenhouse group chairman Linda Pearson, park ranger Julie Apps and blacksmith Tobias Cobrin.

Tesco grant moves greenhouse project forward

VOLUNTEERS are celebrating winning an £8,000 grant from Tesco which will help move forward the project to restore the Alexandra Park greenhouse. Lynda Foy reports on behalf of the greenhouse group. Photos by Colin Foy.

Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group will receive a grant from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative to help restore cast iron work on the 1930s greenhouse which will be used for community horticultural projects.

“The £8,000 award from Tesco Bags of Help really moved the greenhouse repair forward to the next stage,” said group chairman Linda Pearson. “It is the perfect way to end a very fulfilling year.”

The group aims to employ blacksmiths, including Tobias Cobrin, from Over Wrought Forge at Waterworks Road, Hastings, to restore the cast ironwork.

Stiff competition

Blacksmith Tobias Cobrin checks the cast iron work which his company will restore.

Blacksmith Tobias Cobrin checks the cast iron work which his company will restore.

Against stiff competition the group’s bid, Framework for a Growing Future, was shortlisted in the South East with a local school and church to receive grants of £12,000, £10,000 or £8,000. The bid by Little Common School, near Bexhill, won £12,000 for their Fields of Change project and £10,000 went to Trinity Methodist Church, Brede, for its Community Wildlife Garden.

“We wish both groups every success and are thrilled that both projects have a horticultural focus involving the local community,” Linda added.

Another bid by the greenhouse group for funds from the Aviva Community
Fund received insufficient votes to secure funds, but Linda said: “Thank you for voting for us.

Estimates and volunteers needed

“The group is now actively seeking estimates from local carpenters, glaziers and builders so we can match the repair costs with funding applications and community donations.

“We have had new volunteer offers from an architect and a project manager who will work together to visualise the proposal for this horticultural facility.”

Volunteers are also needed for practical, physical work in and around the greenhouse
and for planting and maintaining donated plants. An off-site community and volunteer co-ordinator is required to manage the group’s on-line address book and to work with other volunteers to manage public relations, promotions, and internet access.

A fund-raising co-ordinator is also needed to book events at the greenhouse and
co-ordinate off-site fund-raising activities.

“We encourage visitors and new volunteers to come and see the potential this building has to offer, even in its present condition,” Linda said. “The greenhouse will be open throughout the winter from 11am to 1pm each Saturday.

“We wish everyone a happy Christmas. Please remember we always need plant
donations to sell as part of our fund-raising in 2017.”

For the Bags of Help initiative, which was funded by the 5p plastic bag charge, Tesco teamed up with the charity Groundwork.

 

For the latest news see the group’s website or contact them by email at alexandraparkgg@yahoo.com or telephone 01424 442790.

Posted 20:08 Friday, Dec 16, 2016 In: Home Ground

Also in: Home Ground

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