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Residents at Bruce Street, Redbank Plains have long waited for a community garden space to be created where they are able to come together and not only garden, but also hold barbeques and celebrations.
Resident Joan Day recalls her fellow resident Barry Brough, who shared his dream of creating a garden, and drew up a plan back in 2011 for what it would one day look like.
“Sadly he has passed away before any real progress was made, but he planted the idea of a community garden in resident’s hearts,” Joan said.
Over the past six months, with a revitalised garden design, some extra funding and access to a team of workers, things have developed quickly and the garden area has now become a reality.
While the creation of the garden space and brightened resident’s lives, the building and design has also given young people the opportunity to participate in a traineeship and gain real-life work experience and life skills.
Working with a specialist youth employment initiative provider, Marist180, Community Chaplain Lynne Feldon applied for the Building Our Future Traineeship initiative, which allowed 15 young people to be engaged in a traineeship through the project.
On-site supervisor Tim Dart explained that the program gives these young men and women an opportunity to gain work and life skills.
“We have all enjoyed the process of creating something that the Bruce Street residents can enjoy. As an organisation, our hope is that these young men and women will be able to use the skills that they have gained through this project, in future employment opportunities,” Tim said.
For Lynne, she said it was heart-warming to witness how the area has changed from a wasteland into the beautiful space that it is today.
“We have welcomed these young people into our complex and watched as they have transformed the space. It’s a wonderful transformation and we are very grateful. A great example of community coming together to help each other,” Lynne said.
The young people worked at Bruce Street for around 16 weeks and the garden area was completed in late-June. In addition to the garden area, the team built a new shed and created a range of outdoor furniture for the residents to enjoy. The residents very much appreciate their efforts and thanked the Marist180 staff and team at a recent barbeque.