Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has praised the work of The Urban Garden in the city's Royal Victoria Park.
Opened in March 2021, the garden is committed to the gentle spread of nature and the encouragement of wildlife through the products they sell.
Director Matt Smail, who runs the day-to-day operations, and Non-Executive Director Adam Gretton showed Wera Hobhouse around the site and spoke about their current initiatives.
The Urban Garden is a social enterprise managed and run by Grow Yourself, a Community Interest Company, and in partnership with Bath & North East Somerset Council who supply some of the plants. Grow Yourself has been delivering horticultural training to young unemployed adults in Bath for the past five years.
The Garden offers two onsite training programmes – therapeutic horticulture and supported work placements - and is based at the lower end of the B&NES Council nursery site. All profits from The Urban Garden are reinvested back into training, helping to improve the mental health and wellbeing of local adults.
The site needs committed volunteers to help in the garden with activities such as watering, ensuring displays are attractive and refreshed, replenishing stock, and watering and deadheading plants.
Following the visit, Wera said:
“It was lovely to visit The Urban Garden who do so much for the community. The site offers the perfect combination of sustainable practices and training for young unemployed people to get back into work.
“I couldn’t resist buying some of the plants and I would encourage anyone to head down if they are into gardening.”
Director Matt Smail who runs the day-to-day operations said:
“It was great to show Wera around our site in Victoria Park and great to finally open after three attempts last year.
"Our aim is to help young unemployed people back into work through two on-site training programmes. We are always on the look-out for volunteers so do get in touch if you are keen to join us.”
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