From the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian. Reproduced with permission.
Going green: Volunteers unite to create luscious urban oasis
A team of green-fingered volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to help create a vibrant new community garden in Wanstead.
Members of The Wanstead Society joined forces with staff and customers at the Cherry Tree Café, in Woodbine Place, to turn its untidy backyard into a luscious green oasis.
The hardy gardeners worked for ten tiring hours, planting a wide range of flowers and shrubs at the site, which wil be opened for use by the entire community.
The café is open to the public and run by a mixture of paid council staff, and volunteers – many of whom have learning difficulties – who gain valuable catering experience by helping to cook, and by serving customers.
Work on the garden halted only briefly for lunch, when the hungry workers got the chance to tuck into a tasty meal prepared and cooked by café staff.
Volunteer, Katriye Ibrahim, of The Wanstead Society, said she was delighted to have made a contribution to the garden.
She said "It was really fun helping out, and we are all so pleased with the way the garden looks.
"We were grateful to get a delicious lunch cooked for us because it was very hungry work.
"The Wanstead Society wants to play an active role in making Wanstead greener, and this work was part of that.
"We have planted some sweet chestnuts and elm trees in Christchurch Green recently and plan to plant another eight in the near future."
The Cherry Tree Café is open to the public throughout the week serving hot and cold food.