International law firm Mayer Brown International LLP has nominated Groundwork London as its Charity of the Year.
During the course of the year the firm has pledged to provide funding of at least £10,000 towards Groundwork's new training centre at Burgess Park. The training centre will provide a south London base for Groundwork’s Green Team and Community Gardening Programmes.
The Green Team
Groundwork’s Green Team takes those people who find it hardest to get work and gives them the skills and qualifications they need to get a job.
Clients spend 6 months with Groundwork, learning grounds maintenance and landscaping skills. They will complete accredited training courses and have a 3-month, on-site placement with our Team, getting hands-on experience. We also provide access to computers and support in applying for full-time jobs.
We work closely with Jobcentre Plus, local colleges, businesses and other bodies such as housing associations to ensure that the training we offer delivers the skills that employers need.
Groundwork’s ‘Community Gardening’ project gets residents on housing estates involved in their communal gardens.
Our community gardener works with residents to develop their skills and passion for gardening. We find people quickly become guardians of their green spaces and that our work helps people get active, builds community spirit and improves community cohesion.
As well as “traditional” gardening activities such as planting days, we also combine gardening with other activities to involve people who would not usually get involved. These include workshops on composting and recycling facilities, and ‘edible gardens’ that focus on food growing.
New training centre
The new training centre in Burgess Park will include a lock-up for tools, a place for people to meet, an organic recycling and compost area for the park, two polytunnels for propagation and growing on, and raised beds for seed sowing and stock plants. Having this permanent base will make a huge difference to the staff, volunteers and clients involved in both projects.
Mayer Brown has already raised £5,000 via a staff Christmas auction and matched contributions by the firm, and is planning a further fund-raising event later this year. In addition, partners and staff from the London office of Mayer Brown hope to assist Groundwork in the physical preparation of the new site to make sure it’s ready for action in the Autumn.