Generous support from businesses helps YMCA Derbyshire begin a new chapter at community gardens

Three kind-hearted businesses have been thanked by a Derbyshire charity for helping to pave the way for the next phase of development at their community gardens.
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Wavensmere Homes – the company behind the Nightingale Quarter development on the former site of the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary – and Derbyshire-based specialist contractor Cawarden both donated staff members and equipment to help with the demolition and to clear overgrown and unsafe areas of the Wilmorton Community Gardens, which are now managed by YMCA Derbyshire.

Lambe Construction also helped to clear the gardens and disposed of the waste. This means that the charity can now progress with plans to create an outdoor classroom for YMCA Key College learners, run forest school activities for primary schools and create a green space for 25 allotment plot holders.

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YMCA Derbyshire’s chair Julian Smith thanked the businesses and said that without their help, the project may not have been completed.

Matthew Taylor and Gillian Sewell of the YMCA in the community gardens.Matthew Taylor and Gillian Sewell of the YMCA in the community gardens.
Matthew Taylor and Gillian Sewell of the YMCA in the community gardens.

“We are extremely grateful for all the generous support, and belief in all we are doing at YMCA Derbyshire to enable young people and communities to belong, contribute and thrive,” he said.

“It’s an exciting time for the community gardens, and the support given by the teams at Carwarden, Wavensmere Homes and Lambe Construction, will allow us to progress with our plans.

“Without this generous support, the completion of the project may not have been possible. The costs were prohibited and doing this manually would have taken our team years to complete.”

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As part of YMCA Derbyshire’s masterplan for further development of the Wilmorton Community Gardens, a large structure in the gardens had to be demolished. This structure was causing problems and delaying progress until Cawarden stepped in and offered the use of a 16-tonne digger and an experienced operator to carry out the demolition work free of charge.

With the area now flattened, Wavensmere Homes and Lambe Construction stepped in to clear the disused, overgrown, unsafe area of the gardens, and disposed of the waste.

Staff from Cawarden’s head office, meanwhile, also volunteered to clear an overgrown walkway, which will be transformed into a new eco-sensory trail for the YMCA’s young people and local communities.

Samuel Crooks is contracts director at Cawarden. He said: “We have a longstanding relationship with the YMCA Derbyshire and we’re delighted to have been able to carry out the work for them.

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“We know that the structure had been an obstacle for some time and had put plans for the community garden on hold, so it was our pleasure to clear the site and pave the way for the next phase of redevelopment.”

James Dickens, managing director at Wavensmere Homes said: “The YMCA makes a massive contribution to Derby’s young people. Wavensmere fully support this transformative organisation and will continue to in the future."

It promises to be a big year for the Wilmorton Community Gardens, with a new eco-friendly Green Hub Youth Centre being unveiled in the autumn.

Funded by the Youth Investment Fund, the building will be used to run vital training and education courses for young people focussing on construction and horticulture. It will also be a hub for youth activity and used in the evenings and weekends to provide positive opportunities for young people living in Alvaston, Allenton and Wilmorton.

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The YMCA offer corporate volunteering opportunities at the gardens, where businesses can bring their teams for a day of team building and gardening - and are always on the lookout for regular volunteers.

People interested in taking part in activities can register their interest via: [email protected].

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