222 backers raise over £111,000 to create new weatherproof community hub
They did it! A fund-raising campaign by Hammersmith Community Gardens Association to replace the ageing glasshouses in Ravenscourt Park has achieved its target figure of £111,589.
The campaign's Spacehive page, run by Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, reveals that the funds were pledged by a total of 222 backers, ranging from donations from individuals and local businesses, fundraisers such as pub quizzes and huge support from the Mayor of London with a donation of £50,000, H&F Council which gave £20,000 and Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, or HCGA itself, which also donated £20,000.
On 12 August, the HCGA said on the Spacehive website: " We hit our funding goal! Brilliant news, thanks everyone!"
In fact, after hitting the target figure on 12 August, the project is now Overfunding. The HCGA says the extra funding will be spent (in order of priority):
to improve the area around the glasshouse benches
contribute towards a second glasshouse that is being separately funded.
The glasshouses were built in the 1960s, but are now in need an overhaul for use as a weatherproof hub for the community.
The HCGA says: " HCGA have been gardening on the site since 2004. The existing glasshouse structures have been refurbished twice but are at the end of their life.
" Existing facilities consist of a completely inadequate one electric socket and one cold water tap. There is no heating and the resource is unusable during the winter (three months of the year).
"The project is in response to many requests from local users who are also local residents. We offer a range of activities from school visits, volunteer gardening sessions for people including refugees and those with health and learning difficulties. Pop up Yoga is held twice weekly.
"The glasshouses are the headquarters for our wider organisation. The new glasshouse will be configured for maximum use. A large central space that can be used for meetings, concerts & workshops leading out on to the walled garden that we have exclusive use of.
"To facilitate this vision we have negotiated a 25 year lease on the site, and secured full planning permission."
HCGA’s community work in the glasshouses was hailed as 'outstanding' at the 2018 Royal Horticultural Society's It's Your Neighbourhood Awards.
The HCGA says: " Our charity is very people focused -we work with 60+ volunteers each week many of whom are socially or economically disadvantaged.
"Our Grow Well programme at the glasshouses runs activities for people with long term health issues or who have caring responsibilities. Our Get Out There / Men in Sheds project' all socially isolated older men' undertake much of the ,maintenance at the site. We receive referrals from St Mungos. Alzheimer’s Soc and local GPs. We receive many requests from other organisations and host regular professional tours to share our learning.
"We work with 16 schools on a weekly basis, grow plants for use by the schools at the project. We also host class visits at the glasshouses.
"We work across four local boroughs and the glasshouses are our HQ where we deliver a range of workshops for both the general public and CPD sessions for teacher and healthcare professionals. Other groups also use the space, a yoga group and the NHS run an eco therapy session for patients."
You can find out more at Spacehive.
August 2, 2019