Lockdown has been tough.
People have been in their homes since March sacrificing social contact to try prevent the spread of the virus. Catch-ups have remained digital, business meetings over Zoom and we’ve never partaken in so many quizzes. Even though we’ve never been so far apart, we’ve also never felt closer to our fellow humans. We all have this very weird thing in common we can talk about (after we’ve finished discussing the weather).
People have taken this opportunity to get to know their neighbours – which to the older generation reading this might be a bizarre concept. Growing up in my home as a kid neighbours where your friends and family that walked into your house without knocking but sadly for my generation the most contact I have with them is picking up a package they’ve taken in for me or stealthily filling their bins late at night when yours is full. Don’t act like we haven’t all had to do that walk of shame.
There are however, a group of people that have taken this concept of getting to know the people next door one step further. Say hello to Berrington Community Gardens – an innocent project that started with some letters through a door that has now resulted in a whole community coming together to turn their weed-ridden alleyway into a beautiful green space they can spend time together in.
We sat down (virtually) with Pippa, one of the residents, to catch-up on this project:
Tell us about yourself and tell us about the project
I live in Wavertree with my housemate Nina. We are both creative people, I work as an art and craft playworker and Nina is a vegan baker.
When did it start and how did it start?
On the 15th of May we received a letter through our door inviting us to clean up our weed ridden alley way to create a useable green space for us to use. We were naturally excited by this concept and couldn’t wait to get involved.
What are the changes that have been made?
From then till now we have created a haven filled with flowers, vegetables and up-cycled second hand pieces that otherwise would have gone to the tip.
Do you feel closer to your neighbours and community as a result?
Before this we did not know each other at all or just had a passing hi, going about our lives. But now we have grown as a real community that has come together to create something really special helping with our mental health, emotional wellbeing and a sense of purpose and pride.
What’s even better about this whole thing is that it’s inspired lots of other streets to do the same thing! We look forward to seeing them.