The Sedgemoor Secret Garden group was set up by neighbours Geoff and Brian to brighten up their area and bring people together.

With encouragement from Lisa Brown, Forever Manchester’s Community Builder, Geoff and Brian who live on the Barker Street Estate in Oldham installed a seating area and raised planters where wild flowers were planted.

A local agriculturalist visited the gardens and said he was surprised to see so many varying pairs of birds in one small area, especially the Jay Birds. Alex Myers the First Choice Homes (FCHO) Neighbourhood Officer entered the garden into the FCHO Garden Competition after seeing how much had been achieved by the neighbours coming together.

The Sedgemoor Secret Flower and Bird Garden won 1st place for Best Communal Garden. The son of a resident involved in the project also won Best Young Gardener at the ceremony. The photos of the fantastic space can be seen below:

The FCHO Garden Competition is held every year. As a result of the work Lisa has been doing in the community to connect residents, members of the Sedgemoor Secret Garden have now been attending the Barker Street Tuesday Club; a local social club set up by a local residents. They have also been involved in Forever Manchester’s Rag Pudding Mission Possible event and have been introduced to and made friends with others in their community.

Each member has now made friends and they are now looking to attend a regular evening social club, set up by members of the community where residents come together, share a meal and play some board games.

Geoff, who helped to set up the garden said he was “chuffed to bits” after winning the prestigious award in Oldham, while Alex Myers from First Choice Homes said: “It’s great that a garden from this estate has won, and it’s been lovely to watch the neighbours come together to achieve this.”

The project has boosted confidence and helped these residents to connect with similar passions and put their multitude of skills together to create something award winning.