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Christmas, Disability, Gardening, Goscote

Christmas cracker showcases Goscote Greenacres

Goscote Greenacres

The popular Goscote Greenacres community garden on Goscote Lane held a seasonal market last Friday and Saturday – marking its first year serving both the disabled and the wider community.

And with craft stalls, festive foods, bric-a-brac, raffles and a school choir on Friday and festive music, jewellery, craft stalls, homemade pickles and handmade Christmas wreaths and yule logs on Saturday, this cracking little event, graced by a visit from Santa Claus, showcased what is clearly an excellent project for the disabled and the wider community.

Paul Mason outside the Community Cabin in glorious sunshine

Paul Mason outside the Community Cabin in glorious sunshine

Paul Mason, Goscote Greenacres’ community development officer, said before the free event:

“This is our first Christmas market here at Goscote and we’re really looking forward to both days.  There’s plenty to see and hear and it’s also a chance for people to have a look at the site and find out a bit more about the opportunities here.  We look forward to welcoming people and spreading some festive cheer!”

Goscote Greenacres viewed from the Woodland Walk

Goscote Greenacres viewed from the Woodland Walk

Goscote Greenacres Community Garden is based at the Goscote Centre for adults with disabilities and is being driven by them, their carers and the wider community. The Centre provides opportunities for people with disabilities who use the centre as well as residents, community groups and schools in the Goscote area, and also includes a great Community Café – Greenacres Restaurant – open to the public for breakfast and lunch, a training kitchen and social enterprise opportunities.

The building itself hosted the Christmas Market, with numerous stalls:

Christmas wreaths and preserves stall

Christmas wreaths and preserves stall

Cake stall

Cake stall

Arts and crafts stall

Arts and crafts stall

Jams and ginger cake stall

Jams and ginger cake stall

Dolls and other crafts stall

Dolls and other crafts stall

Cards and candles stall

Cards and candles stall

Various stalls

Various stalls

Costume jewellery stalls

Costume jewellery stalls

Guess the number of sweets in the jar stall

Guess the number of sweets in the jar stall

The main aims of the Goscote Greenacres project are to offer growing and gardening facilities and skills to the disabled and to offer the opportunity for members of the local community to mix with and become more aware of the needs of the users and others with similar issues.

Stuart Williams from The Bloxwich Telegraph dropped in on Saturday and was introduced to both the gardening project and the Centre by Mr Mason, who explained that the gardening facility with raised beds for easier access was launched in 2012 following a £250,000 makeover of the former Goscote Lane grounds of the old Goscote Hospital which house the Goscote Centre and the canal side open space behind the current building.

Panoramic view of Goscote Greenacres including Jo Stewart of Walsall Council and her daughter Chantel (click to enlarge)

Panoramic view of Goscote Greenacres including Jo Stewart of Walsall Council and her daughter Chantel (click to enlarge)

Paul gave Stuart a whistle-stop tour of the site, which apart from the Centre itself, includes a spacious community cabin, available for events and meetings, which also includes a home-grown veg shop as well computer facilities; a lovely canalside woodland walk with easy access for the disabled; the wide range of 45 garden plots (including 20 raised beds); fruit trees; polytunnels and a variety of other growing opportunities.

Panoramic view of the growing beds and grounds (click to enlarge)

Panoramic view of the growing beds and grounds (click to enlarge)

Gardeners have access to dedicated toilets and a conservatory to which the gardeners have access even when the main building is closed.  It is also planned to offer fishing facilities including a Fishing Club along the canal at the rear of the site.

Part of the delightful canalside woodland walk

Part of the delightful canalside woodland walk

Goscote Greenacres is a partnership between Walsall Council’s Adult Social Care, Walsall Adult and Community College, North Walsall Area Partnership and others.  Mr Mason’s work is funded by Walsall Council but the project itself has no other budget, so it has to be as self-sufficient as possible, and boxes of vegetables grown on-site are available for sale when in season.

Donations and sponsorship are also welcome, and anyone interested in helping with funding or in kind – or seeking further information about Goscote Greenacres – is welcome to contact Paul Mason on 07432625923.

You can also Like the project’s Facebook page: Goscote Greenacres and another at Goscote Greenacres Community Garden.

If you would like more information about future plans for the Goscote Centre please contact:

Goscote Centre
Social Care and Inclusion
Goscote Lane
Goscote
Walsall  WS3 1SJ

Telephone 01922 655800

Email goscotegreenacres@walsall.gov.uk

GOSCOTE GREENACRES FLICKR ALBUM

More photos of Goscote Greenacres by Stuart Williams are available to view in our Flickr Album.

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