Who We Are
The Team and Our Story
The Community Hall & Gardens are managed by a management team of local volunteers, and relies on volunteers to maintain and develop the Community Garden, and support the social activities.
Rachel is our energetic and enthusiastic Community Hall Manager – your first contact for further information on activities and volunteering at St. Peter’s Community Hall & Garden.
The Management Team are delighted to announce that in November 2022 Rachel was short-listed for the national Employee of the Year Award organized by Keep Britain Tidy. Community Gardens that have been successful in achieving the Green Flag Community Garden Award were eligible to nominate individuals and aspects of their work for a suite of Best of the Best Awards.
In 2022 St. Peter’s Community Garden achieved the Green Flag award for the eighth year in succession. The high standards achieved in respect of care for the environment and maintenance of a caring community culture is a tribute to all our volunteers, and to the hard work and dedication of Rachel in particular.
How Our Story Began
Our story began in July 2008 with a vision, a garden spade, and a great deal of voluntary effort. The vision came from Army veteran Ian Thompson, who was inspired to create a garden environment for the benefit of the whole community.
As with everything, vision alone was not enough – it needed a great deal of voluntary effort over the first few years before the potential of a community garden could be realised. It took six months to clear away the first layer of dense undergrowth, only to reveal a mountain of rubbish that littered the area. Mattresses and traffic cones, iron poles, beer cans and bottles – the clearance of 12 tons of rubbish had to be tackled as the next stage.
Despite the hard work needed, the shared vision continued to inspire the volunteers. With hand-held tools borrowed from Cardiff City Council, the team pressed on, undeterred by slow progress.
Within the next five years, they had laid 172 tons of stone dust pathways, a 6m by 6m patio area, created a 7m by 6m pond, raised 240m of fencing, built and planted 6 large raised beds, laid 3 lawns covering 480sqm, and planted 80m of hedging.
A Unique Creation
Today St. Peter’s Community Garden flourishes as a green oasis in an urban area.
Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the Garden combines aesthetic, therapeutic and functional purposes.
Aesthetic: a calm and tranquil environment has been created where mature trees, shrubs and wildflower meadows share a habitat for birds, bees and pond life.
Therapeutic: volunteers have created the Community Garden as a caring, supportive environment where people suffering from social exclusion and with particular needs can be supported and empowered by engaging in the therapeutic activities of gardening.
Functional: The latest aspect of the Community Garden to be developed has been the capacity for growing fruits and vegetables. Improved landscaping to the raised beds has made it easier to plant, maintain and harvest a range of vegetables. The addition of a donated polytunnel provides an environment for nurturing tomatoes, beans and seedlings. Taking part in the Plot to Pantry scheme in 2022, our volunteers delivered our crops of vegetables and fruits to community organizations for distribution to needy families.
St. Francis Quiet Garden
The Quiet Garden here at St. Peter's is a tranquil spot, away from the main gardens, for meditation and reflection.
The quiet is a place for contemplation, relaxation, meditation and reflection.
The world around us is so busy and noisy that sometimes it is good to get away. The quiet garden is a place to achieve this.
The Quiet Garden Movement nurtures access to outdoor space for prayer, reflection and rest in a variety of settings, such as private homes, churches, schools and hospitals, and creates opportunities for people to experience silence, restfulness and contemplative practices.
Here at St. Peter's our quiet garden, tucked away from the rest of the gardens, is dedicated to St. Francis, patron saint of animals and nature.
The garden is open to those of all faiths and none as a place of repose in nature.