Volunteers sow seeds for Uckfield’s new community garden

Plans to create a new community garden space in the heart of Uckfield are taking shape, helped by a team of electricity workers and colleagues from a local funeral directors.
UK Power Networks employees give their time to a community garden makeover in New Town, Uckfield

Volunteers from UK Power Networks and Cooper & Son Funeral Directors, rolled up their sleeves to lend a hand on a project which aimed at transforming disused land behind Rose Cottage, into an attractive outdoor community space.
The team, who mostly work as surveyors for major projects, swapped phones and keyboards for loppers, forks and spades to create a blank canvas for a garden makeover. The team got involved through Donate a Day, UK Power Networks’ volunteer scheme, which gives employees two paid days leave each year to work on voluntary projects in their local community. 
They were joined by colleagues from Cooper & Son, who is donating the plot for community use working in partnership with the local branch of the charity, Men’s Shed, who will maintain the land. 
Members of the local support network make friendships and boost wellbeing whilst learning a new practice or skill and are aiming to turn the space into a community vegetable garden, growing produce for Uckfield Community Fridge, reducing food waste and distributing surplus food.
Etienne Robinson-Sivyer, who led the volunteers from UK Power Networks, said: “We hope our work will pave the way for events and projects which everyone can get involved in, using the space in a way that brings everyone together.
“The space was under-used with overgrown shrubs and bushes. Our aim was to create a blank canvas, so residents can use the transformed space for tea parties and other community events. 
“We cleared away shrubbery and overgrown brambles around the edges of the plot. Underneath overgrown grassy mounds there is a concrete base which was the foundations of an old house, perfect for raised beds.
“There will be further work to do to clear the plot and make it look attractive and accessible and we were keen to leave it neat and tidy for the exciting plans which will follow our work.”
Emma Tipler, Funeral Director Cooper & Son said: “As a family managed and owned business, it is a privilege to support the communities in which we serve. For some time we have had an aspiration to transform the gardens here at Rose Cottage to benefit the local community and it’s such a pleasure to see this come to life.
“We look forward to seeing the gardens flourish and for local residents to reap the bountiful benefits, from produce to a place for positive wellbeing and collaboration.”


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