Inspire Community Garden
Registered Charity No. 1167913
The Inspire Community Garden is the result of the ‘big project’ that Transition Chesterfield, a well-established community group, wanted to develop. Its aim was to bring together like-minded people to provide a worthwhile and useful activity to illustrate and demonstrate to the whole population the benefits of the ideal of the Transition movement.
We began our project in April 2016 on a piece of ex-allotment land (just under an acre) near to the centre of Chesterfield with the following aims:
- To reclaim a piece of land back from wasteland.
- To create a Community garden grown on organic lines as a demonstration garden to encourage and support organic gardening in Chesterfield.
- To work with other organisations to give volunteers new skills and confidence.
- To improve the health of local people both through building fitness through gardening and to grow produce to share to encourage healthy eating
- Surplus produce is gifted to local groups and schools.
Gardening is a wonderfully flexible medium that can transform lives and the Inspire Community Garden sees first-hand how gardening can help everyone, regardless of age or ability. Therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone’s ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.
Using gardening tasks and the garden itself, our volunteers build a set of activities for each gardener to improve their particular health needs, and to work on certain goals they want to achieve.
Every Sunday and Wednesday afternoon we open the garden for a variety of activities. Some volunteers attend because they are interested in the horticulture, the growing of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Some people are more interested in the construction of facilities and landscaping, while other people use our facilities as a social hub where they meet up with like-minded people.
We have 2 large polytunnels and 3 greenhouses as well as 4 plots where we undertake rotational crop growing. Our volunteers can learn the skills of sowing, planting and general plant production. We have also run workshops to develop our growing skills as well as demonstrating our solar powered watering system.
We have also installed a caravan on-site which has been converted into a large meeting room where we can provide refreshments throughout the day and meet up for a chat. Outside there is a decked area where, when the weather allows, we can sit, relax and enjoy the views and enjoy an amiable chat.
The Garden has been open since April 2016, including during the 2020-21 Covid pandemic period, we managed to keep the garden open but shut the caravan and ensured we kept our distance in the open air. The buildings were only able to be used by one or maximum 2 people and, we are pleased to report, had no instances of infection resulting from our activities.
We are always looking for new volunteers and we welcome many community groups, including Cubs and Scouts and we have also hosted events organised by Mansfield Building Society and also young people from Chesterfield Football Club. Occupational Health have brought some people to visit the garden with a view to them potentially joining in our activities as well as taking the opportunity to enable them to relax in a green space.
Contact can be made via email to InspireCommunityGarden or come to look around on Sundays 10am to 3pm or Wednesdays 1pm to 3pm. Accessed via the footpath that is between Chester Street and Alexandra Road West. First gate on the right from Mecca Bingo or last gate on the left if coming from Chester Street. Just push the gate to see if we are open (it looks locked), then wander up the site where you will find us working or just chatting. No commitments, just come and look. Inspire are also open for new or returning volunteers to come and join us.