A REAL community effort has led to the creation of an oasis of calm in Bridlington town centre.
Over the last five years, volunteers, local businesses and funding bodies have all helped to transform a neglected piece of land behind Christ Church into a community garden for all to enjoy.
It will officially open to the public with a family fun day on July 16.
The land, to the back of the church and adjacent to Wycliffe lane, had lain derelict for a number of years and was a target for anti-social behaviour and rough sleepers.
When the Key Centre opened in 2006, Christ Church member Nick Briggs and his team began the process of converting the land into a garden for the Bridlington public to enjoy.
The team has consisted of volunteers and people on work placements from training courses at Christ Church and all of the work has been carried out to a high level by unskilled people – the paths and raised beds were made under the supervision of a volunteer who was previously a builder.
Funding for phase one of the garden initially came from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Key Centre development.
Phase two was funded by Community Spaces, a funding body which supports the creation of green spaces in town centres, and Rev Jonathan Couper, vicar of Christ Church, said that the garden was a wonderful example of how the local community can work together to create something special.
“This garden is a partnership between church, funders and businesses, and between those who have gardening expertise and those who are willing to work at planting and weeding,” he said.
“We are grateful for everyone who has contributed to make the garden happen.
“The combination of vision and action has brought about a garden for the people of Bridlington which is a haven of peace for those who wish to sit, pray, think and be still.
“It has been a joy to see the derelict land transformed into something which will last for years and as the plants grow will become even more beautiful than it is today.”
It has involved years of hard work for all involved, and the fruits of their labour can be seen by everyone at the opening and family fun day on July 16.
It starts at 9.30am in Christ Church with a short celebration service before the official opening of the gates and tree-planting by the Archdeacon of the East Riding, David Butterworth, at 10.30am.
Then the fun will really start, with attractions including a bouncy castle, children’s giant games, Punch and Judy, craft fair, table-top sale, food, barbecue, music and more.
Christ Church’s Noah’s Ark nursery will also be having an open morning so that parents can view what the nursery has to offer.
The free event will go on until 3pm and later in the evening there will be a strawberry tea concert in the marquee featuring light classical music, folk music and songs from Bridlington Girls Choir.
Tickets for the evening concert cost £4 and are available from the Key Centre on 404100.