The Secret Garden is a community garden established in a small vacant lot at the southeast end of Balmore Street, N19, in close walking distance to Brookfield Primary. The school was given access to this space to use for educational and community building purposes but in a state that was not child friendly and was unsafe for everyone using it.
A grant from Power Up North London supported the refurbishment of the Secret Garden:
- Community Interest Company, Wood That Works made raised beds, benches and chairs and other furniture ahead of it being used by Brookfield Primary School staff and pupils as an outdoors learning centre and growing space. It will be used as part of the curriculum and to help pupils learn about pond life and growing – with a focus on saving energy, recycling, and biodiversity. The site is also accessible to residents, (many without gardens) at certain times.
- Director of Wood That Works, Ricky Jefferson said all the wood used is recycled and cleared of any rough edges or nails. Besides up-cycling Jefferson described cross-cycling, taking part of an old piece of furniture, and adding a new bit for strength and stability.
- Wood That Works provide classes to schools, children with learning difficulties, women’s groups and young offenders and Jefferson proudly brought in a bird box made by the latter undertaking community reparation.
- Fellow director Honey Halit said the organisation helps re-educate women in basic DIY-skills and builds confidence and empowerment. She explained women aren’t traditionally associated with DIY skills, or putting up shelving, but there needs to be a re-education.
- Brookfield School said, “We hope to use the secret garden to help us meet our educational commitment to teach children to be environmentally literate and to develop their knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to practice and promote sustainability at school and in their community.”
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