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Spirit of Manchester Story - The plants grow and so does my sense of community involvement

26 Sep 2018 - 10:31 by helen.walker

Every Tuesday, the dedicated Friends of Ladybarn Park voluntary action gardening group meet in order to enhance and maintain the beauty of the lovely shared space in the heart of the busy community of Fallowfield. Facilities are aimed at all age groups and include a children’s playground, multi-use sports area and a bowling green. 

The surrounding parkland, including the landmark  ‘Poplar Walk’, are carefully tended by enthusiastic volunteers, and at 85, Doreen Robinson is one of the most well-known and committed gardeners.

Doreen volunteered not even knowing if she could hold a spade. Two years later, she is a dab hand and feels her involvement in the park has made her healthier and happier, not only tending the plants but giving her a greater sense of community involvement as the park is supported by local schools and businesses alike and holds regular fundraising events. For Doreen, there is an emotional investment as well as working on the flower beds.

She said: “Not only are you planting flowers but you are sowing the seeds of friendship. I love being involved in the park – the plants grow and so does my sense of community involvement.”

Pauline Ainscough, the chair of the Friends group, has worked to harness the support of the local community and enlist members. Since her first involvement eight years ago, and thanks to the efforts of volunteers like Doreen, Pauline has seen Friends of Ladybarn Park grow from "an acorn to a great oak”.

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