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Stand-Up Celebrate Award with Grow Wild at Kew Gardens


Stand-Up celebrated the National Lottery Award with Grow Wild at Kew Gardens this week. One of the highlights was meeting resident artist Rachel Gadsden at The Hive. Have a look at the stunning pieces they produced together: (Photos by Ania Shrimpton Photography)

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Back home, Stand-Up Southwark with the support of Grow Wild London have been hard at work taking care for the community garden. Here are some of their thoughts on the project:

“Before, the thought of gardening was out of our comfort zone. We’re from the ‘ends’, it’s not seen as a male, young thing to do. We didn’t even think public gardens were accessible to people like us. But we’ve now visited Hampton Court Flower Show and the Sky Garden at the Shard, and will be going to Kew Gardens with Grow Wild. One of us even went to a seminar on gardening, which talked about abstract thinking, creativity and influencing people.”

“We wanted to work on a project that gave us a connection to the community, get us off our phones and participate in something different. If young people help construct their local community, they care more and are less likely to ruin it. It will be a place for people to come to, to sit on the benches in peace. It will look good, really pleasant to look at. The final result will be beautiful. It will also get the community understanding fresh stuff. The vegetables and herbs we’re planting can help sustain and feed the community.”

“Coming from a council estate, I don’t have a garden. Seeing them, like at the Hampton Court flower show, it’s now one of the things I want when I’m older. It’s like music, inspiration.” (Liam, 19)
“I really appreciated the opportunity Grow Wild gave me to go to the opening of the garden at the Shard. It’s a very prestigious building, it’s not every day that a young person like me gets to go there and meet the head of the Shard. It was very exciting to see the official opening and cutting of the ribbon. Plus I got to be on London Live and Japanese TV!!” (Joash, 23)

“The project has taught us a lot. We’re doing things we didn’t think possible. We didn’t know about any of it, but Grow Wild told us about the importance of wild flowers. They are important for the ecosystem because they produce oxygen and attract bees to pollenate more flowers. There’s a real variety of seeds and flowers, such as red and white campion, and they keep the ground fertile with nutrients.”

“Claire Vokins is a professional gardener and has volunteered a lot of time with us, she has been brilliant. She has educated us and we’ve realised that through teamwork we can achieve a lot. The skills we are learning can be applied to other things in life. It shows commitment, drive, and a ‘can do’ attitude.”

“We’ve learnt to integrate with people of different ages and abilities, because we’re working on the project with ‘19+’, the Cambridge House art group for adults with learning disabilities. A lot of us have found painting the fence and planters therapeutic and relaxing. We’re going to add sensory stuff to the garden, for people with learning disabilities to enjoy.”

“We’re going to connect our official opening of the Stand-Up Garden to the empowerment sessions we do. We can use the project for the music some of us make, because we can express new feelings related to gardening. We’re outside of our normal environment, so we’ll come up with new lyrics and emotions, it will be creative inspiration. The opening event will show people that anyone can garden, it’s a good exercise for teamwork. The garden will always change, like us. It’s a ‘forever’ project.”

To Keep up with the project visit their website: