YMCA youngsters and volunteers build garden with council grant

Young people from YMCA DownsLink Groups Southwell Lodge  supported housing project in Balcombe Road, Pound Hill were joined by volunteers from Crawley Borough Council, British Airways and Hilton Gatwick - picture submitted by Crawley Borough Council
Young people from YMCA DownsLink Groups Southwell Lodge supported housing project in Balcombe Road, Pound Hill were joined by volunteers from Crawley Borough Council, British Airways and Hilton Gatwick - picture submitted by Crawley Borough Council

Young residents from a Crawley supported housing project built their own vegetable garden last Tuesday thanks to a grant from Crawley Borough Council.

The teenagers, from YMCA DownsLink Group’s Southwell Lodge on Balcome Road, Pound Hill, were able to turn an overgrown patch of land into a raised bed vegetable garden with the £495 grant.

They were joined by volunteers from Crawley Borough Council, British Airways and Hilton Gatwick in creating the garden, which will allow the youngsters to learn about food production while being outside and active.

Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Chris Mullins, said: “It is wonderful that the council have been able to support these young people and teach them valuable life skills while providing social opportunities.”

Southwell Lodge supports vulnerable 16-18 year olds and educates residents in valuable life skills.

The lodge is part of YMCA DownsLink Group, a charity providing supported housing and education to young people across Sussex and Surrey suffering from trauma and social exclusion.

YMCA DownsLink Group engagement and learning co-ordinator Lee Scott said: “It was fantastic to see the young people and volunteers from the wider community coming together to create something so positive and having a great day in the sunshine.”

All those involved are looking forward to their hard work paying off when the vegetables are harvested in autumn.