We are fundraising for a fully accessible, welcoming and environmentally sustainable “garden room” where our volunteers, especially those with limited mobility and ill health can stay warm and dry whilst at Sunnyside.
Our buildings are not fit for purpose. We are a fair weather experience for all but the most hardy and fit members of the community. We want to replace three of our existing temporary structures with a new building so that we can welcome everyone all year round.
So far we have £62,000 of the £325,000 needed to make this project happen.
Sunnyside is approaching grant funders and trusts to raise the majority of the money for this new development and we have set a goal of raising £5,000 in the local community on GoFundMe. This money is essential as we may be able to match fund it with other grants and it will get the ball well and truly rolling with our fundraising efforts.
Donating here will get us a step closer to our dream of a new building.
At Sunnyside Community Gardens we believe everyone should be able to enjoy social green space. We also believe that everyone, regardless of physical or mental health or ability, should have the opportunity to get their hands dirty and be involved in the creation and care of that space. Being outdoors in a social space has many health and wellbeing benefits and we want to be able to share those with our community.
We have a long history of delivering therapeutic horticulture for people with additional needs such as physical disabilities, learning difficulties and people suffering with their mental health.
Anybody who comes to Sunnyside, regardless of experience, capacity or status in the organisation is treated as an equal member of our friendly community.
In the past Sunnyside had an indoor space to host volunteers and support those with disabilities on the site. Unfortunately, we’ve been the victim of arson twice, once in 2007 and again in 2013. In the second incident, our home was destroyed by fire. We were only able to salvage the toilet block and since then we have been making do with a converted building site container, the toilet block and metal lock-ups used as sheds.
The building site container cabin is cramped, freezing (literally) in winter and severely damp. The toilet block is not an efficient use of space, is not easily wheelchair accessible, and is rotting from severe damp. The layout of the buildings on the site is also poor. The cabin blocks the raised beds for sit-down and wheelchair gardening, and the metal lock-up sheds create areas where people might hide to engage in anti-social behaviour and makes the garden feel less safe.
Sunnyside needs a fit-for-purpose building to support its volunteers, from which we can manage our activities in the garden.
- We need a building that welcomes and enables people with additional needs.
- We need a building that is fireproof with metal shutters to secure the building from arson and theft.
- We need a building that is sustainable and nature friendly in its design so that it compliments all the hard work that volunteers do to make the garden a lovely natural space.
How are we going to achieve it
The community at Sunnyside has worked with Cooke Fawcett Architects who (on a pro-bono basis) designed initial drawings for the building. They have designed us a fully accessible, sustainable building that will be an asset to the wider community. It will be able to be adaptable enough to be useful for many years into the future. The initial drawings have been submitted to the London Borough of Islington for pre-planning and were successful. Now all we need to do is raise the money.