TPT spend a successful day volunteering with BUF & The Dragon Cafe
Greening Bankside’s urban spaces and supporting local community groups are just two of the many projects at the core of Better Bankside.
When local business TPT approached us for some volunteering inspiration, it seemed fitting to pair them up with one of our Community Partners, the Dragon Café as well as Bankside Urban Forest. TPT had gathered some eager volunteers from their organisation who were able to donate a day to specific volunteering activities.
Divided into two groups, the morning volunteers teamed up with Gary Grant from the Green Infrastructure Consultancy. Despite varying levels of gardening experience, the six volunteers worked on greening Great Suffolk Street Parade by planting a range of perennial and evergreen plants. The new flower beds they installed contributed to the Bankside Urban Forest improvements to the street which are near completion. This scheme (funded by Greater London Authority’s High Street Fund) has extended the width of the pavement, creating more space for urban greening activity.
Bankside typically lacks green space, so this kind of work is particularly important to the area and the volunteers did an impressive job in just one morning! They also managed to visit Crossbones Graveyard, a local community garden reliant on volunteer support.
Supporting the Dragon Café
The afternoon volunteers called into the Dragon Café, the UK’s first pop-up mental health café which runs every Monday in the crypt of St George the Martyr Church. The Dragon Café is one of Better Bankside’s four Community Partners who are allocated funding on a three year term basis.
The aim of the café is to help promote social inclusion amongst people who feel socially excluded from society. The café is completely run by volunteers who host a range of creative activities which encourage social connection. The volunteers from TPT were divided into three groups; kitchen support, ‘floating assistants’ and artists table support. From cooking lunch and cleaning the kitchen, to setting up activities, the focus of the afternoon was interacting with the patrons.
The volunteers at TPT made a meaningful contribution to benefit the Bankside community, but the day also provided them with a fantastic team-building opportunity.
If your organisation would like to participate in some volunteering initiatives co-ordinated by Better Bankside, please get in touch with Sile Kelleher, sak [at] betterbankside.co.uk or Josephine Clarke, jc [at] betterbankside.co.uk (. )