One of our five Flagship Engagement Projects, the Community Gateway project, recently organised a local group event, a walk around Grangetown, which was then followed by a community meeting. Professor Kevin Morgan, of the School of Planning and Geography and the University’s Dean of Engagement, attended.
The walk took place on the 9th April, and local residents from Grangetown included representatives of the Grange Gardens Pavilion Action Group (GGPAG), Food Cardiff, Cardiff Council, BRG Communities First, and Student Volunteering. From the University, Kevin was joined by Professor Paul Milbourne, Head of the School of Planning and Geography, Professor Mike Bruford, from the School of Biosciences, Fiona Wylie, Innovation and Engagement Officer in Biosciences, and Mhairi McVicar, project lead of the Community Gateway project.
The core aim of the walk was to find out if we could investigate ways of working together with local residents and stakeholders to inspire action and build on a number of exciting ideas we have received for new projects, such as ‘making the most of local green spaces’, ‘bringing the countryside to the city’ and ‘creating access to affordable food’. The intention is to bring these ideas to life by pairing up with the Grangetown community to explore their interests and needs, and combine the skills, expertise and resources across the University with an ambition of supporting community initiated projects.
The walk lasted one hour, and started from the vacant Grange Gardens Bowls Pavilion. Conversations along the way included how the Community Gateway project has been working with the GGPAG, which would like to convert the pavilion and green into a café which promotes healthy eating and living through growing, preparing, teaching about, and eating healthy food. Resident Diane Bennett proposed cooking classes for a wide range of residents. Inge Hanson introduced the group to the pivotal efforts of Friends of Pentre Gardens in converting an underappreciated neighbourhood park into a vibrant community-led gardening project. BRG Communities First voiced support for partnerships across Grangetown communities. Residents’ interests in heritage crops were matched by research interests from Professor Bruford.
The group returned to the pavilion for lunch and a discussion and presentation from Professor Milbourne. The group are now forming a network to develop on the ideas and questions raised at the session. Community Gateway would love to hear from anyone who could support or inspire Grangetown residents in developing their ideas for growing and promoting healthy food. For more information, contact Community Gateway project lead, Mhairi McVicar, or project manager Rosie Cripps, at Communitygateway@cardiff.ac.uk, or follow Community Gateway @Communitygtwy.