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Opportunity to help revitalise garden for community use following funding award

7 September 2021

Local environmental and heritage charity Habitats & Heritage has been awarded funding to help support the revitalisation of a vacant garden site for community use in the heart of Twickenham.

The Twickenham Training Centre, also known as the Twining Centre, in Grimwood Road, Twickenham was originally built as a day centre for adults with mental health issues and is Council owned with Achieving for Children (the Council’s Children’s Services provider) using the site to provide training and conference facilities for schools and other local groups.

Alongside the building is a garden site, including a greenhouse and raised beds that were previously used to provide horticultural workshops and courses for people with learning disabilities but is currently vacant.

Following the awarding of funding from the Council’s Local Area Fund, Habitats & Heritage is looking to support a programme of engagement with local groups and organisations to better understand how the site could be used to benefit the local community.

It is anticipated that the garden site will be let to a voluntary sector or not for profit organisation who will maintain and manage the garden to deliver services which reflect the local need. This could include gardening activity to support people with learning disabilities, mental health issues, those who are suffering from loneliness and isolation or other vulnerabilities.

During the autumn Habitats & Heritage will be working with interested groups and residents to explore how the garden site can be brought back into use. Working in partnership with local organisations, the project will include helping to generate ideas, assessing their suitability, and working with pre-screened parties to submit a formal expression of interest.

Local groups and residents are encouraged to register their interest in the project by contacting Edward Stannard at Habitats & Heritage: grimwood@habitatsandheritage.org.uk 

Cllr Michael Wilson, Spokesperson for Communities, Equalities & the Voluntary Sector, said: 

“The garden site on Grimwood Road presents an invaluable opportunity for a local group or organisation to provide a community focused service for the benefit of their service users and the local community.  

“Such opportunities rarely present themselves and could be utilised to great effect by a local group. I encourage any groups or organisations who work with residents with learning disabilities, mental health issues, or residents suffering from loneliness and isolation or other vulnerabilities to contact Habitats & Heritage and to tell them how the site and garden could benefit your local group and the residents your group works with.” 

Colin Cooper, CEO of Habitats & Heritage, said: 

“We are looking forward to working with voluntary organisations, the community, other interested parties, Richmond Council and Achieving for Children, to find and support the creation of ideas and plans for future uses for this wonderful space.” 

Gill Goouch, Associate Director for Workforce of Achieving for Children (AfC), said: 

'Twickenham Training Centre is a fabulous facility for our children's workforce and the outside garden offers numerous possibilities to the new provider(s), enabling them to meet the multiple needs of our local community. We are really looking forward to the opportunities to work with our partners in the Council, Charity and Community sector to make the whole site a welcoming, usable and enriching space for everyone to enjoy.' 

Visit Habitats & Heritage's website 

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Updated: 7 September 2021