New garden to boost mental health and feed families in need

Ruth Burrows (in the red coat) with volunteers next to the new community garden at Sprowston Methodist Church

Ruth Burrows (in the red coat) with volunteers next to the new community garden at Sprowston Methodist Church - Credit: Andy Burrows

Fruit, veg and flowers will be ready for harvesting at a new community garden come next summer. 

The open space next to Sprowston Methodist Church in Wroxham Road has been transformed into an area of raised beds by volunteers after the seed of an idea was planted by Ruth Burrows, wife of Rev Andy Burrows, superintendent minister of the Norwich circuit.

The couple moved to the city suburb in September last year from Lincoln.

Mrs Burrows, a pastoral worker for the church, said: "I saw the land and when people said it was used once a year for the church fun day I thought it was waste.

"As a church, rather than being inward looking, we should look after our community.

"Mental health is my passion and gardening is important for people with mental health issues."

The garden will be open to anyone, including people outside of Sprowston, and seeds will be planted in the spring next year.

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Produce should be ready for harvesting in the late spring or summer next year.

Mrs Burrows hopes boxes of fresh food will be available to families in need through pre-packaged boxes.

It was funded by the parishioners and a grant from the church with Mrs Burrows adding she was "overwhelmed by the generosity" for the "really worthwhile project".

The pastoral worker added there was strong support for the garden across Sprowston.

Another feature of the garden is a remembrance memorial around a cherry blossom. Here names of people who died since the start of the Covid lockdown in March 2020 are engraved in wooden decorations.

In the summer the new minister and his wife held a service for people whose loved ones died during the pandemic.

There will also be a sensory garden, a wildflower meadow, bee boxes and seating areas.

"It is going to be appreciated. Everyone thought it was good place for people to meet and chat. I'm hoping the community will own it," Mrs Burrows added.

The garden project will link up with Aslake Community Glasshouse Growers and the annual church fun days will continue at the church.

To get involved in the community garden project email andrew.burrows@methodist.org.uk

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