Growing Plants, Growing People, Growing Communities…
Hammersmith Community Gardens Association is a local environmental charity set up in 1984. We manage four community gardens in Hammersmith and Fulham. HCGA has a range of projects which include conservation training schemes, volunteer gardening sessions, health and wellbeing projects, environmental playschemes and environmental education in local schools. We assist local groups in the design, plan and management of their green spaces. We promote environmental sustainability within the borough and manage our sites to maximise biodiversity and encourage wildlife.
To reflect the expansion of our working to neighbouring boroughs in 2016 the charity adopted the working name of Healthy Community Gardening Activities (HCGA)
The gardens are used as an educational resource by local schools, a site for volunteer gardening groups and in the holidays there are environmental play activities. As well as creating space for people the sites have also been designed to encourage wildlife.
We run the community food growing area in Normand Park and work with local ‘Friends of’ groups to manage and promote their sites. Since 2019 we have been working in Frank Banfield Park running regular community events as part of a project to increase community involvement in a future redevelopment of the park. We run two large community events on Starch Green, W6 every year with support from local businesses.
In Westminster we run weekly gardening sessions in Queens Park Gardens and Penfold Street Hub. We support the Fisherton growing project with regular gardening sessions as well as by providing plants. In Westminster and The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea we deliver short Adult Education courses around gardening and herbal activities as well as a programme of walks.
HCGA has a team of school gardeners who deliver environmental education sessions in schools on a weekly basis in three boroughs. These include formal curriculum-linked activities as well as lunchtime and after school clubs. We can also guide groups on how to make their premises more environmentally friendly and give technical growing advice. For more information about booking an educational visit for your group or for a member of our team to come to your site please contact us.
Through the Grow Well project we work with local people across the Hammersmith and Fulham borough to provide therapeutic gardening sessions for carers to give them a break from their caring responsibilities and supported volunteer gardening sessions for people who need a bit of extra support hopefully leading to participation in our regular volunteering sessions. This project is funded by the Mercer’s Company.
The Get Out There! project offers local unemployed or socially isolated people the opportunity to learn new skills in basic environmental management such as habitat conservation, tool use and wildlife identification. Participants get the opportunity to visit and work on a range of different habitats across London as well as local sites in Hammersmith and Fulham. We also run a Men in Sheds programme at Godolphin Gardens for socially-isolated men.
Our Volunteers maintain our gardens and contribute hundreds of hours of their time each year. Many of them have physical or mental health problems which prevent them from working in paid employment. We also host around 20 companies each year on corporate volunteering work days. As well as completing several physical tasks the companies make a donation to HCGA which covers staff time and materials. This is extremely valuable to us as it then funds the upkeep of the gardens.
Who we are
Hammersmith Community Gardens Association is managed by a group of trustees, who are all local residents. Our staff have knowledge and skills in a wide range of areas including: horticulture, conservation, garden design, forest schools, leading guided walks, herbal medicine and many more. We have a pool of sessional staff so are able to take on short-term projects and one-off sessions. All our staff are highly trained, DBS checked and insured.
Our aims are:
Improving the environment of the borough as a place for people and wildlife by maintaining quality green spaces
Raising awareness of the links between the environment and the benefits of healthy living
Community Involvement: Encouraging people to be involved and caring in their local neighbourhood through one-off projects and long term developments. To seek to involve all sections of the community, not just the able bodied and the young
To work in partnership with other organisations
The association is a registered charity (1111 999) and company limited by guarantee.
HCGA are members of Social Farms and Gardens
Watch our video celebrating over thirty years of our work in the community!