Recently the BBC filmed The Instant Gardener at the farm and our episode will air on Wednesday 8th June at 3:45pm on BBC1. The 15 part series begins daily on Monday 30th May. Make sure you're watching to see farm staff and volunteers work alongside the BBC team to transform an area of the garden. Trust me, it's going to be entertaining!
I recently got in contact with Dulux Decorator Centre in City Industrial Park on Southern Road to see what they do with their damaged paint goods, to see if they could be donated to the farm. As a community centre and charity, the farm welcomes many people through its doors so it's understandable that the hand washing area had seen better days, so it was decided that a project was needed to give it a new lease of life.
Store Manager Roxanna Sanaee welcomed the idea and immediately put aside 5 litres of paint to be donated. Roxanna was so intrigued by the project that she and her team, colleagues Nick Edwards and Mike McGrath, popped down to Lordshill to hear more about the activities held at the farm and to see how they could get involved. “It was such a lovely project being done for the community; each year we try to do some voluntary work for a worthwhile cause and this really appealed to us” said Roxanna. “When we met Giverny and saw how enthusiastic she was about the farm and how it is such an important space for the local community to go to, we were hooked. To have a farm on your doorstep that lets you fully interact with the animals, but also educates people on the environment and how to be creative with materials found in nature – it’s a pretty special place. We also appreciate that it helps many people, not just one set user group, meaning a small makeover will actually benefit hundreds of people over time.”
I then had the challenge of seeking a tiler to tile the hand washing area first. After a shout out on the farm’s Facebook page, a lovely family got in touch to say that Shane Kingston, a local tiler (and Father to an Autistic boy who has found a real safe space at the farm) would happily help refurbish the area for the farm. “My son Theo adores this place, so it feels good to be able to give something back.”
The bathroom refurbishment has made a significant improvement to the farm. Health and Safety is paramount for us, especially when handling animals, and to have a fresh and clean area completely free of charge thanks to the kindness and support of local residents and businesses within the community is fantastic. We are all so grateful to Shane and the Dulux team – we couldn’t have done it without them!
- Giverny Bendall
Who we are:
Oasis Down to Earth Farm is a community centre with a difference: we are based on a farm in urban Southampton. As a not-for-profit charity, our mission is to provide a socially inclusive, happy experience where people of all abilities and differences are respected and valued. We aim to educate, empower and engage with our local community.