Ten years of creating, protecting and improving green spaces for nature and for people, through practical community volunteering across the Borough of Camden.
On Tuesday 16th October, the sun shone for TCV’s Camden Green Gym volunteers who celebrated the group’s 10th anniversary in the kitchen garden of Waterlow Park. It was a fitting location, as a decade ago the TCV volunteers largely created this wonderful community food growing area, which is now well used by local school and resident groups.
The Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells, praised the commitment, community spirit and work achieved by the volunteers, and presented appreciation certificates to the regulars, among whom the award for the most sessions attended goes to Camden Green Gym volunteer officer Paul Whynacht, with over 700.
The event was well attended by about 50 people: present and past Camden Green Gym volunteers and TCV staff, Camden Council nature conservation officers and ground maintenance managers, as well as representatives of the Friends of Waterlow Park, the Waterlow Park Trust Advisory Group, and Waterlow Park officers.
A shorter than normal nature conservation session in the wildflower meadow of the Upper Pond area, was followed by an entertaining official programme, with the founding Camden Green Gym Project Officers Chris Speirs reminiscing about past achievements, and then a great vegetarian lunch provided by the Skip Garden Kitchen, run by the Global Generation educational charity.
Everyone should be so proud. It shows how being in a green space in the open air can bring people together in a way that being in an office or at home does not.
Dr Sue Tatum, Chair, Waterlow Park Trust Advisory Group
Camden Green Gym was launched in partnership with Camden Council and Public Health in 2008, in order to improve public green spaces in the borough. Since then, more than 4,000 Camden Green Gym volunteers have completed over 10,000 workdays, improving a total of 65 parks, urban woodlands, resident squares and community gardens. They have planted thousands of native mixed hedge trees, sown and scythed wildflower meadows, created wildlife habitats and maintained green spaces for public enjoyment and nature conservation.
Part of a nationwide TCV initiative, Camden Green Gym runs twice-weekly sessions in green spaces across the borough, as both a community natural health and nature conservation initiative. Sessions are open to all and no experience is necessary.
Through additional volunteer mentoring and training programmes, TCV gives volunteers improved skills and enhanced employability, with 93% of volunteers reporting an increase in skills and confidence.
Camden Green Gym sessions are open to all regardless of experience, ability or fitness, giving volunteers the chance to help transform their local green spaces, learn new skills and improve their health and fitness.
To join the Camden Green Gym contact: firstname.lastname@example.org – 07768 710 359 or 07768 421 881