Kennedy Way Community Garden Phase 2 officially opened


A COMMUNITY garden filled with wildflowers, social space and community activities has launched its latest phase of work.

A new community hub and recycling hub have been created on the site in Kennedy Way, Clacton along with extensions to an accessible pathway.

Run by Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST), the Kennedy Way Community Garden hosted a special Phase Two launch celebration on Wednesday, June 28.

Special guests, including Tendring District Council chairman Gary Scott, and representatives from the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (SNEE ICB) as well as staff, volunteers and trustees from CVST enjoyed a day at the garden.

After the ribbon was cut by Ed Garratt, Chief Executive of SNEE ICB, to officially open the latest facilities, there was a Tai Chi demonstration and refreshments.

Tracy Lawrie, communities manager at CVST, said: “We had a lovely time celebrating the launch of Phase Two of the community garden.

“It’s hard to believe that two years ago this site was just an empty piece of land.

“So quickly it has become a thriving space with butterflies and bees visiting our wildflower garden, and volunteers and the public enjoying nature and getting involved in planting and building.

“Kennedy Way Community Garden is like a little oasis, with space to sit and relax, outside exercise equipment to get active, and vegetable planters with a variety of produce.

“We have the Men’s Shed, with members making items including bird boxes, the Community Hub which offers a space for activities and meetings, and the Recycling Hub.”

Kennedy Way Community Garden is the result of a unique collaboration between the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System Local Estates Forum, the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance, site owners NHS Property Services and CVST.

Phase one of the garden, which included a Men’s Shed, grassed area, outside gym and raised beds, opened in October 2021.

Work on phase two began last year, seeing the rest of the site developed for the community.

Brenda Ellis, CVST chair, said: “Kennedy Way Community Garden is a remarkable collaboration, which really showcases what we can achieve for the community by working together.

“This otherwise unused space is now such an amazing place to visit and welcomes everyone.

“There is so much to enjoy and to get involved with.

“It’s a garden like no-other – aimed at really improving the wellbeing of Tendring residents by offering a beautiful space to enjoy or a place to get involved and volunteer.

“If you’ve never seen the garden, I urge you to come and visit, especially now when it’s in full splendour.”

Ed Garratt OBE gave a speech at the event where he revealed the latest health index figures showed an improvement in Tendring – which he attributed to the great work of the voluntary sector.

He said: “It’s incredible to see how this community asset has flourished before our eyes. It’s amazing.

“On the 75th anniversary of the NHS this year, this is an example of where we should be going as an NHS.

“It’s going from strength to strength and its fantastic to see.”

On Mondays 10am to 12noon and Wednesdays 10am, to 4pm the Men’s Shed is open, while on Tuesdays 10am to 12noon and Thursdays 10am to 2pm there is gardening, and Thursdays also offer outdoor gym instruction.

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