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New community garden opens in Harlesden

PUBLISHED: 12:11 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:11 15 September 2015

Sophia Kulesza,  Zuzanna Szmajewska, Sahar gulbadin had fun with face paints at the opening of the new green space (Credit: Adam Thomas)

Sophia Kulesza, Zuzanna Szmajewska, Sahar gulbadin had fun with face paints at the opening of the new green space (Credit: Adam Thomas)

Archant

Budding gardeners and their green-fingered families gathered in Harlesden on Saturday to celebrate the revival of a new community green space.

Residents enjoyed exploring the new community allotments and raised bedsResidents enjoyed exploring the new community allotments and raised beds

Dozens of families enjoyed free face-painting, a bouncy castle and flower potting at the official launch event of the Harlesden town garden project in Challenge Close, St Mary’s road.

Friends of Harlesden town garden, along with community group LIFT and park co-ordinator Gabriel Parfitt have spent two years transforming the green space -which was formerly a ‘no-go’ area used by street drinkers and sex workers- into a community garden.

Bridget Geehan, who came with daughter Eilis, 4, said: “I didn’t even know this little park existed until today and now I have put my name down with two friends to tend one of the raised beds.

“It’s great to see how the hard work of Friends of Harlesden Team has reclaimed this space for local families.”

(Left to right) Leroy Simpson, former Harlesden town team chairman, Cllr  Mohammed Butt, Asda Community life champion Donna Turner, Darren Kelly from Veolia, Mayor Lesley Jones, Cllr Lloyd McLeish, Michael Kearney from HEART residents association and right, Gabriel Parfitt, Organiser of Harlesden Town Team.(Left to right) Leroy Simpson, former Harlesden town team chairman, Cllr Mohammed Butt, Asda Community life champion Donna Turner, Darren Kelly from Veolia, Mayor Lesley Jones, Cllr Lloyd McLeish, Michael Kearney from HEART residents association and right, Gabriel Parfitt, Organiser of Harlesden Town Team.

Dignitaries including leader of Brent Council Mohammed Butt and Mayor of Brent Councillor Lesley Jones joined in the festivities.

Gabriel Parfitt, co-ordinator of Harlesden Town Garden project said the day-long event, which included lessons from professional graffiti artists to help children brighten up the surroundings, was intended to help residents engage with bio-diversity, healthy eating and build new skills to set them on their way to becoming “local superheroes”.

Mr Parfitt said: “Community members who have lacked access to local green space and have been concerned about anti-social behaviour will feel safer, more connected to other local people, and better able to engage in outdoor activities near their home and feel there is an outdoor space that belongs to them – where they can garden, meet with neighbours, exercise, learn about nature, or just enjoy being in a quiet green space.”

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