Skainos garden sees community blossom
A group of people based at an east Belfast homeless hostel are literally putting down roots with their latest community garden which opened this week.
Dame Mary Peters was special guest at the official opening of the 'Community Garden at Skainos', the new centre built by East Belfast Mission on the Newtownards Road.
The gardeners of the 'Going Green' group originated within the Mission's homeless hostel, Hosford.
The group have already teamed up with Belfast City Council and Connswater Community Greenway to develop a community garden at Avoniel which works as a co-operative with no ownership of the raised beds and the gardeners taking home their share of vegetables, fruit and herbs in return for a few hours work.
The Community Garden at Skainos is being developed by Lynne Mc Creery, Community Outreach Manager from Belfast City Council in partnership with Going Green and local people.
Further green spaces are planned at Hosford, the Skainos Centre and the roof top garden which will be maintained by a core group of participants from the local community, Going Green and Swann Services.
Arlene Megaw, Life Skills Worker for Hosford, said: "Community Gardening is all about growing: growing vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers but most of all growing a community.
"The Community Garden at Skainos provides a green space to meet new friends and share gardening skills.
"Going Green facilitate a gardening workshop every Thursday 2-4pm at the garden though this will move to a Wednesday 2-4pm at the Skainos Centre from November and everyone is welcome," she added.