On Wednesday 13th September, friends of WEN and local residents came together in the Bromley by Bow community centre for WEN’s Autumn Gathering – ‘Natural Spaces, Healthy Places’. We started off the day with speeches from Catherine Tollington (Director of Health, Wellbeing and Communities at the Bromley by Bow centre) and Sharon Biddicant, who shared with us her enthusiasm for gardening and how it can be useful in improving mental health and wellbeing. We also heard about the Tower Hamlets Food Poverty Action Plan from Abi Gilbert (Programme Leader of Healthy Communities); how growing your own food can help to improve both the quality of your diet and its consistency throughout the year.
As usual, many local community organisations held stalls including the Tower Hamlets Community Seed Library, Cranbrook Community Garden with their copious amounts of produce for sale, Pritchards Road Day Centre – a mental health day centre gardening group, Tower Hamlets Cleaner Greener Volunteering Scheme who work to maintain growing spaces in public places, and the Bromley by Bow Centre Gardening Programme who run three weekly health-and-wellbeing-focused gardening sessions.
After enjoying a wonderful vegetarian lunch provided by the Bromley by Bow centre café and some WEN supporters, we had the opportunity to have a guided tour of the centre and to participate in a seed-saving workshop and mapping project in which local green spaces most commonly used and appreciated were identified and mapped. The day ended with the very popular raffle in which almost everyone who bought a ticket seemed to win a prize, ranging from Lush cosmetics goody bags to chilli seeds and a garden ‘bat box’.
Thanks must go to Beth Summers for coordinating the day and to all that attended! We hope to see you at our next gathering!