A grant of £500 has made a huge difference to the residents of Peartree Close, South Ockendon. The money was used to improve a memory garden. Tony Houston and his wife Carol applied for the grant on behalf of the Community Association and were delighted with how much they have been able to buy with such a small sum of money. Tony said “After our neighbour lost her seven month old baby girl, we decided to clear out a weed choked flowerbed and create a memory garden. A place of reflection where anyone can go and light a candle in memory of a loved one. Thanks to the generous help of the Veolia North Thames Trust, Thurrock Garden Centre and Thurrock Council the Memory Garden project has become a reality. We cannot thank them enough for the help and guidance they have given us. Thank you”.
Flowers, fencing and turf were purchased from Thurrock Garden Centre at a very generous discount and the remaining grant was used to purchase a strimmer so that the residents can keep the grass short and the area nice and tidy, giving them a very attractive place to sit, and while away sunny days.
Doug Benjafield – Chairman of VNTT said “The Trust is very happy to support small community projects, especially ones that enhance local environments and help bring communities together. The residents association should be very proud of their new garden and have proved that even the smallest amounts of money can make the biggest of differences”.
The garden was formally opened at 10am on Friday 4th September by the Mayor of Thurrock, Councillor Sue Gray and Charlie Curtis (VNTT Trustee). Father Peter Rabin from St Nicholas Church blessed the memory garden. Following the opening the Mayor presented Tony Houston with a special gift from the Veolia North Thames Trust – a hedgehog house –which is hoped will encourage nocturnal visitors to the garden and encourage the local children to take an interest in their natural environment.
The picture shows how the garden looked before the work was completed and how it looks now.