Our next entry for the St Luke’s CARES Community Awards has been submitted by Beeston In Bloom, the volunteer community gardening group. For details of how YOUR community group can enter please click here.
You can’t help but notice there is little green space around Beeston and that’s what we are trying to overcome in Beeston in Bloom. The group was founded in 1997, with the aim of promoting community pride. In 2018 we are still going strong.
We have around 15 regular volunteers who are all local residents. Our abilities and ages are many and varied and we work all year round attending meetings and working parties to maintain our many schemes.
The gardening projects range from small – maintaining barrier troughs and planters, to larger undertakings like the Millennium Garden in Cross Flatts Park and a converted grass verge near the Cardinal housing estate. We also plant spring flowering bulbs every autumn in a variety of places to add much needed colour. You may have seen our logo all over Beeston?
We are lucky to have strong leadership from our chair, Angela Gabriel, who is a resident and our local councillor. We also work closely with staff from Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Department, local churches and volunteers from business groups, who all help to make the group successful.
Every year we enter Leeds and Yorkshire in Bloom competitions, and were delighted to achieve a gold medal in 2016. We are judged on much more than just our floral displays. For example, we have to show that we are helping conserve and improving the local environment. You just have to look around on judging day to see how we are helping to keep the streets free of weeds and litter. Improvements like new benches and litter bins are all down to our hard work and influence.
There are a number of hanging baskets which are displayed on lamp posts around Beeston in spring and summer. These are sponsored by residents, schools, churches, local companies and other voluntary groups.
We hold plant sales 4 times a year at various locations like Lodge Lane, outside the Co-op and at Beeston Festival. The aim is to raise funds and encourage local residents to ‘get digging’ by selling affordable plants. Other sources of income are from the council and bids for funding from organisations like Comic Relief and Postcode Lottery.
We often find that when applying for grants, funders are expecting a new project but money for routine maintenance is difficult to obtain. By voting for us you will be helping to keep Beeston blooming. £250 would give us the opportunity to replace some of the overgrown planting in one of our raised beds in the park. £750 would do a raised bed plus all the planters on Beeston Road. A magnificant £1,000 would do two raised beds and the Beeston Road planters. The benefit to our group, residents and visitors to Cross Flatts Park would be HUGE and help maintain our reputation of being a blooming great area.
We always welcome new members and you can follow our activities on the Beeston in Bloom Facebook page.
This post was written by Linda Stanley using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.