Way to Grow works to transform green areas across Bristol, whether this is maintaining flowerbeds, weeding, planting and maintaining green spaces. They are committed to supporting community groups; schools and individuals who are struggling to make the most of their gardens or green spaces. In 2014, Way to Grow worked with the Friends of Brandon Hill Group. Home to some of the best collections of trees in the city with 500 trees covering nearly 100 different species, including a 250 year old Oak Tree, Brandon Hill is a unique and tranquil green space in the centre of the city. However, with just one park warden and a handful of volunteers there were certain areas of the park that needed some serious attention. A team of thirty-five students linked up with Friends of Brandon Hill to blitz these key areas in just one afternoon.
Bristol student Helen Shan perfectly summarised the positive impact the day had on both the local community and the students involved when she said the best thing about Way to Grow was making the environment more beautiful and working with new and old friends.
One of the great things about the Way to Grow Project is the way it benefits all involved. Summer term for students tends to mean two things: deadlines and exams. Gardening is widely understood to be good for relaxation and promoting mental wellbeing – summed up perfectly by psychologists Van den Berg and Custers when they said gardening can promote relief from acute stress.
Way to Grow provides students an opportunity to socialise, take a few hours off revision, develop a practical skill and give something back to the community they are part of. They are always on the look out for new projects and localities across Bristol, so if you have a space that you think might be relevant, please get in touch to discuss your needs. We will pass on the details to the students involved in the project and they will contact you to arrange a time to meet and see the space. Students come with their own basic gardening gloves, however if heavy duty equipment is needed, it is usually asked that this is provided by the organisation.