Eccles community garden gets new lease of life thanks to £10,000 of local support

The Ivy Den Cafe and Garden Shop at Cleavley Community Forest Garden has been provided with electricity and water supplies by Liberty.

By Emma Davidson | 24 January 2023

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Local community hub, Cleavley Community Forest Garden opened its doors last summer, offering health and wellbeing programmes delivered through horticulture activities by community interest company, Incredible Education.

In order to expand what it offers and become even more accessible to locals, North West property services company, Liberty, was introduced to the project by local landlord ForHousing. 

After meeting with owners and finalising plans for the space, the company built foundations for the community garden and polytunnel, alongside a reliable electricity source to the Ivy Den Cafe and donation of materials worth almost £5,000.

Liberty’s team then dedicated 90 hours of staff time to dig a trench by hand for electric cables and plumbing, connecting the buildings to the main supply. Additionally, sockets and a heating supply were fitted, while United Utilities ensured water reached the project.

Overall, Liberty’s help totalled more than £10,000 of work and has created a comfortable and modern café that can now give back to the community in more ways than one.

Cleavley Community Forest Garden now offers an accessible space for schoolchildren and volunteers from across Salford to learn new skills and improve their wellbeing. For the same reason, it has become a frequent place for GPs to refer patients in need of relaxing, outdoor activities as part of social prescribing.

Ian Bocock from Incredible Education said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to Liberty and ForHousing for supporting us. 

“Installing essential utilities on our site means we’ll be able to offer so much more here and I’m looking forward to seeing us grow, thanks to this help. Our next challenge is setting up a multipurpose workshop with a ‘living roof’ made from plants to teach people woodwork skills.” 

The project has also been supported by funding from the National Lottery, NHS Salford CCG, and Salford CVS, and is now starting to generate its own income – standing it in good stead for the future.