Neighbours turn waste land into community garden

Tanya Oliver-Grieves front with fellow residents, workers from Sunderland City Council and gentoo including customer involvement officer Tawanda Kawanzaruwa in the Larkfield Crescent Community Garden, Shiney Row.
Tanya Oliver-Grieves front with fellow residents, workers from Sunderland City Council and gentoo including customer involvement officer Tawanda Kawanzaruwa in the Larkfield Crescent Community Garden, Shiney Row.
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COMMUNITY volunteers are turning a once-neglected area into a bright and colourful space.

People living in Shiney Row pitched in to start renovating the area in Larkfield Crescent, with the land to become a meeting point where plants, flowers and vegetables can be grown.

The project was started by Tanya Oliver-Grieves, who approached her neighbourhood manager Tawanda Kawanzaruwa with a vision to redevelop the former playground.

It had been cleared of equipment by Gentoo when it became notorious for antisocial behaviour.

Funding was approved from the Local Customer Panel, and Gentoo, Sunderland City Council and Interlink Scaffolding Ltd (ISL) have helped residents turn the idea into a reality as part of the Love Where You Live campaign. “This is just the start, but we are really pleased with the turnout,” said Tanya, 33, a personal fitness expert.

“The fact that about 20 people came to help and get involved is great for the area.

“We’ll be going back to do another day soon, when we’ll do some planting and give the fences another coat of paint,” added Tanya, mum to Daniel, eight, and Tyler, six.

“It’s really exciting to see the idea of the garden has now become a reality and how much of a positive impact it is going to have on the community.”

Ian Porter, managing director at Gentoo, said: “This new 
area will not only be a 
communal space for residents 
to enjoy fun healthy activities, but they will also be able to work together to grow their own produce – for the benefit of everyone.”