A new garden at a centre supporting young people at risk of homelessness is now flourishing with the help of a £3,000 community grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust. Just 12 months ago the neglected, concrete yard at the back of the Lighthouse Project, Warwick Road, Cliftonville, run by the Kenward Trust was not a pretty sight. Its transformation into a delightful garden with new fencing, relaxation areas and raised beds filled with flowers and vegetables made it the star attraction at the Lighthouse Project Open Day.
Visitors to the special event, including Rochester Bridge Trust Senior Warden Russell Race, were treated to a garden tour by residents with opportunities to savour refreshments made with home-grown ingredients.
Mr Race said: “Throughout our long history, which dates from the 14th century, the Rochester Bridge Trust has supported good causes across the county in addition to its key role of providing a bridge across the Medway at Rochester at no cost to the public. We are very pleased to have been able to contribute to the development of this garden which not only improves the quality of life at the Lighthouse Project but is helping residents acquire new skills growing vegetables and preparing meals for each other with their produce.”
Lighthouse Project manager Karen Dawber said that the new garden had made a big difference to the young people living in the hostel. “The garden is proving a great success with residents taking a pride in growing fruit and vegetables and creating a relaxing space for everyone to enjoy. “We are particularly grateful to our assistant manager, Maria Kourellias, who has driven the concept of the garden forward with tremendous drive and creativity, and an enthusiasm which has inspired us all.”
The Lighthouse Project offers a home for up to 23 people aged 16 to 25 years who have experienced difficulties and have no settled environment in which to live. While living at the Lighthouse Project they receive support in gaining life, social and job skills and are assisted in planning for their future by seeking work or training opportunities.
1. The Rochester Bridge Trust was founded in 1399 and is the only surviving independent bridge trust that still serves its original purpose. The Trust owns and maintains the road and service bridges over the Medway at Rochester and has contributed to the cost of many other Medway crossings over the centuries. It makes charitable grants and supports other charitable and educational projects in Kent.
2. The Trust’s income derives from 14th and 15th century endowments and assets are carefully managed to provide funds for bridge maintenance and future replacement as well as charitable activities. It provides its services entirely free to the public. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.
For more information:
The Rochester Bridge Trust
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125