Birkenhead-based social enterprise HYPE Merseyside is calling for people to support a crowdfunding campaign to create an urban walled garden for the community, which would be launched in time for Birkenhead Park’s 175th anniversary in April.
The courtyard behind the organisation’s office, located in the listed building at the entrance to the park, has mainly been used for storage over the past twelve months, but HYPE Merseyside now wants to transform the empty space into one that the whole community can enjoy.
The organisation needs to raise £3,000 to create a public space that will contain colourful and exotic plants, a water feature and will provide a welcoming habitat for insects, birds and other creatures. There will also be a seating area where visitors can take in the sights, sounds and scents of the garden while enjoying a cup of coffee purchased from HYPE’s office.
All money made from coffee sales will, in turn, be used to maintain the organisation’s larger plot of green space in the park, which is 200 metres from the garden. The walled garden will be used by HYPE Merseyside to run its weekly events and community groups will also be able to use it for meetings and workshops.
If the campaign is successful, the garden will be delivered by Grow Wellbeing and six young HYPE Merseyside staff members, with the support of Kindred, a collaborative network of socially-trading organisations in the Liverpool City Region. HYPE has extensive experience in transforming empty spaces into areas that can be used purposefully by the community to deliver events and activities and the disused courtyard is the first of a number of ‘empty spaces’ the organisation plans to bring to life this year.
Local youngsters will be engaged in the process of designing and installing the garden and HYPE’s volunteer youth gardening group would be responsible for its maintenance after completion. The crowdfunder launched on Monday 24 January and will run until Monday 28 February.
Matthew Houghton from HYPE Merseyside said, “We are always looking for ways to maximise empty spaces in our community. We believe this courtyard space will benefit local residents and visitors, particularly young people, and we have a really exciting vision for the urban walled garden.
“We have expert support in place for this project. Our team of young staff and volunteers are bursting with ideas and ready and raring to go – all we need now are the funds to turn the vision into a reality.
“Even the smallest donation will take us a step closer to helping our young people launch the urban walled garden with an exciting community event in April, to celebrate Birkenhead Park’s 175th anniversary. Please donate if you are able and share far and wide!”
There will be a number of incentives to donate, including a complimentary mug of HYPE’s finest coffee in a take-home ‘Urban Walled Garden’ coffee mug if you donate £20, your family name engraved on an ‘Urban Walled Garden’ legends board if you donate £100 and the opportunity to become the main sponsor of the ‘Urban Walled Garden and Coffee Shop’ if you donate £1,000.
To find out more or donate, visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/urban-walled-garden
Image: (L-R) Duane (Grow Wellbeing), Brad, Fintan, Ellen, Ben, Jodie and Andreia (HYPE Merseyside) and Sophie (Grow Wellbeing) in the empty courtyard, which is set to be transformed into an urban walled garden