Sidcup Community Garden Project – first practical session Saturday 8th August

Image from page 781 of "Whitaker's peerage, baronetage, knightage, and companionage" (1897)The Sidcup Community Garden Project, an effort to try and maintain the gardens at Sidcup Place following Council funding cuts gets good support at first meeting.

First practical session on Saturday 8th August.

Dear all,
Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who came along to our first meeting on Monday evening – it was really helpful to have so much input on how we could get the Sidcup Community Garden Project up and running. Thanks also to St. John’s Church for hosting the meeting.
However, I know that many people were away or unable to attend due to prior engagements and I want to make sure that everyone was kept in-the-loop. As such I have detailed our progress so far below:
1. To date, we have had around 45 volunteers sign up to the project – thank you to everyone who has done so!
2. We will be having our first action day to prepare the site and tidy overgrown areas on Saturday 8th August between 1000-1300hrs. Please pop the date in your diary and come along. Nearer the time, a work schedule for the day will be sent out.
3. To keep the project manageable, we have decided to focus on the fencing, the grass and the borders in our first year. The middle beds do have planting, which need a tidy but will be fine for the time being. Most of the borders are currently empty so these areas will be the first visible signs of progress.
4. I am talking with Lark in the Park, who have offered to help with fence repair and painting. However, this seems to be a bigger job than first expected so work is continuing.
5. We have divided the borders into eight sections. The plan is get different Sidcup businesses to sponsor different sections for a two year period. I have priced each of the eight sections at £350.00 for the two years. I am delighted to confirm that two businesses have already signed up and we hope to seal the deals on Monday with a press release which may generate more interest. Letters to other Sidcup businesses will be sent out over the weekend.
6. Following a very sensible suggestion from one of our volunteers, I have also asked Bexley Council to provide us with a disclaimer for anyone who works on the garden.
7. On Monday, we also spoke about trying to formalise the group behind a constitution, committee and set of rules. Due to the interest of businesses and sponsorship money, I have applied to open a community group bank account. However, once we have all eight of the border beds sponsored, and have launched our action day, it would be good to get another date in the diary for a meeting to elect a committee so that the group has a firm structure in place.
I have probably forgotten a great deal, but I just wanted to explain some of the recent developments and thank you all again for your ideas, energy and willingness to volunteer for this project.
We remain at an extremely early and fluid stage, so please do continue to get in touch with ideas and suggestions.
Finally, please remember to put 8th August into your diaries (I appreciate that some may be on holiday!), as it is so important to build momentum with these early events.
Very best wishes,

Cllr Rob Leitch

Sidcup Ward, Bexley

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