THURROCK mayor Steve Liddiard was at Stifford Clays Primary School last Wednesday (25th March) to plant a tree in thanks to a small band of community volunteers who have regenerated the school pond and garden.
Led by the Community Builder Teresa O’Keeffe and School Site Manager Mrs Lane, the work in the garden area started in September. “The garden had been neglected for at least two years and was very overgrown with weeds, the pond was completely choked with algae and bulrushes. The fish and other wildlife were not doing well” said Mrs Lane.
Employed by Stifford Clays Community Forum, Teresa has been in post since August 2014 working with the community in Stifford Clays and Blackshots to promote community development and said “Talking to people about what they are interested in and passionate about in their communities means that I can help to support people to create their community as they want it to be, not someone else’s vision. The school asked for my help in bringing the pond and garden back to life and I was very lucky to find a few really dedicated local people who have volunteered time each week to make this happen”.
“A number of local businesses have donated time or materials to help get the garden ready for the Mayor’s visit today” we would like particularly to thank Wharf Timber, Smith’s Orchard Garden Centre and HW Wilson Ltd for their support. Our final thanks has to be for the fantastic local people who volunteered, this could not have happened without their help”.
The school is now looking at ensuring that the garden is available to the wider community to encourage more volunteers coming forward. If you are interested in getting involved in this or any other community project please contact Community Builder Teresa O’Keeffe at teresa.o’firstname.lastname@example.org.