New community orchard to be created in Southwick as part of work in Sunderland neighbourhood

Work to transform a vacant piece of land into a community orchard gets underway in Southwick this week.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 5:53 pm
The community orchard will take shape on vacant land off Cato Street in Southwick.

The land in Cato Street, which has not been used for more than 20 years, is being brought to life by the community as part of Southwick Altogether Raising Aspirations (SARA).

The project based at Austin House on Shakespeare Street, Southwick, brings together Sunderland City Council, Northumbria Police, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit, Adult and Children's services, housing, education and health partners to rejuvenate Southwick, and help support residents in the area.

The council said after many conversations with the community about what to do with the land at Cato Street, residents are being invited to join in two events this week to help transform it into a community orchard.

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This Tuesday October, 26, between 11am and 2pm, SARA will be at the site delivering free Halloween activities and crafts including rock painting for the memory garden on the site.

There is also an opportunity to help plant flowers to brighten up the winter months.

And the ‘Wear Here’ bus will be on site providing information to local residents as well as the Salvation Army who will make sure everyone is kept warm with tea and coffee.Residents are being invited to go along again at 9am on Wednesday, October 27, to help with the start of planting a community orchard on the site.This latest activity comes just over a week after a community fun day on Southwick Primary School Field, which attracted more than 500 people.Southwick councillor and SARA representative, Councillor Alex Samuels said: “It was lovely to see so many residents come along to the SARA Community Day and enjoying the day.

"It was a great opportunity to tell local residents about who we are, what we do, where we are based and how to get in touch and be involved."We'd love residents to come along this week too to join in the Halloween activities and the orchard planting, especially as it was children from Southwick Primary School who first came up with the ideas for the site.

"There's so much happening to improve the area through the SARA project and we really want residents to get involved."

The project also thanked National Lottery players for supporting SARA through the National Lottery’s Community Fund.

To find out more about SARA or the upcoming events contact search Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for LetsTalkSARA

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