Volunteers bring new East Belfast Community Garden to life

May 16th 2014

Volunteers from BT, Allstate and Henry Brothers brought a taste of Spring to the Albertbridge Road in East Belfast today [Friday 16th May 2014] as part of Give & Gain Day – a national day of volunteering across the UK.

Previously a car park owned by BT, the space has been transformed into a unique community garden for local residents and thanks to funding from Biffa Award, Bombardier and of course BT who provided the land, it will open its gates to the public next month.

Located next to Business in the Community’s NI headquarters, the organisation took the initiative by encouraging BT to make the land available and Biffa and others to fund the project. Managing Director Kieran Harding welcomed all the volunteers who helped put the finishing touches to the garden with some greenery.

He said “We are delighted that BT shared our vision for transforming a somewhat unattractive car parking area into a shared green space for local residents. Their generous offer to make the land available gave us the impetus to push this project forward and it’s great to see their continued commitment with so many  BT volunteers coming  along to help today. Allstate has also invested in this project by supporting an innovative and exciting installation that will be revealed very soon. I am delighted that Allstate wants to continue to be a good neighbour by providing a team of its employees to provide practical help today. This brings us one step closer to opening the Community Garden so that the local community – schools, playgroups and residents of all ages – can benefit from the only piece of green space on the Albertbridge Road.”

Gardeners from Queen’s University were also on hand today in a voluntary capacity to direct and advise on the planting and their expertise was greatly appreciated by Business in the Community and the volunteers. Children from two local primary schools – Avoniel and St Matthews – also attended to give a helping hand and show their interest in the project.

*Give & Gain Day saw 13,000 volunteers out all over the UK, sharing their time, energy and skills with others. That’s an investment of over 93,000 hours or 55 working years in UK communities in one day! In total, over 24,000 volunteers will take part in Give & Gain activities across 29 countries.