Volunteers in Salford have kickstarted a Crowdfunder to help boost their ‘Green and Growing’ project at Buille Hill Park.

Hard-working volunteers have already made a huge difference to the park however, a lack of funding has made it difficult to move to the next level.

Their overall funding target has been set at ten thousand pounds which they aim to reach by the middle of November.

Volunteers and friends of Buille Hill Park socialising by the renovated Pavilion. Credit: Mark Frith

Numerous scientific studies have backed the ‘Green and Growing’ projects aim to help Salfordian’s health in an effective way.

According to a RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) study in 2021, people who partake in gardening every day have wellbeing scores 6.6% higher and stress levels 4.2% lower than people who don’t garden at all.

This money is set to be used to extend the hours the park can open till, renovate the Pavilion in order to serve refreshments and light meals, and laying out a Woodland Walk and wildlife pond.

Two influential people partaking in the project are Mike Scantlebury, secretary of Incredible Edible Salford and leader of the funding project, and Mark Frith from Growing Togetherness, an organisation that has helped link many communities together for the project.

Mark Frith expressed the core value of the project when he says:

“What we’re trying to do with Friends of Buille Park, Incredible Edible Salford, and Growing Togetherness is to create a hub… lots of different community hubs that want to join our space and share their love of the environment and work on how to create our own little unique place of nature.

“It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money if we’ve got the right skills set and you know where to find people, you can do it on a shoestring.

“The best way to find out if we are a community, you’d like to be in would be come down.”

The continuous hard work from the volunteers at the project has not gone unnoticed as the Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, has already been down to show his support.

He helped locals give the run-down Pavilion a new lick of paint using paint brushes that were lent to the project and paint sourced through begging local firms.

His support has been helpful to spread awareness throughout Salford to the project which is always in need of helpful hands.

Frith followed: “He has been very supportive, it’s his passion to renovate Buille Hill Mansion. I’ve worked with him a few times on different topics, and he attended our first open day in July last year where we managed to get a load of free paint from Dulux. We had a team from the MAS project working in the café with us. We had the croquet team offering allotments…it was a very successful day.

Mark Frith and Salford Mayor, Paul Dennett.
Credit: Mark Frith

“I am conscious he has got a lot of organisations to support so I don’t want to ask for too much help but whenever I’ve needed his support, I’ve messaged him, and he has always been there as a shoulder and a person to approach within the council. It’s been great to work with him on loads of different projects in one park.”

A big aim of the project has been to create another outlet for the people of Salford to take care of their own mental health.

Allowing people to become more involved with horticulture and actively exploring how to live more sustainably has been a useful past time for people struggling with mental health.

The project has also become a welcomed place for people to socialise again after over a year of isolation from people and nature.

The research showed a significant association between gardening more often improvements in wellbeing.

Mark Frith now specialises in horticulture and holistic therapies, as he has used the environment to combat his own mental battles from an early age: “I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression from being a child, I was bullied a lot at school and I always found solace in the environment.”

He is now using his own experiences to help others who need a safe place to talk about their struggles: “Our way is for people to come and they don’t feel like they are being judged in that respect so we can have a conversation. As long as they are being friendly and supportive, everyone is welcome.”

Although the project has already come so far, hitting their target of ten thousand pounds will allow Buille Hill Park and the Seedley Park Allotments to become a pillar of wellbeing in the Salford community.

If you wish to help or donate towards the scheme a link to all projects, including the Crowdfunder, can be found below:

Buile Hill Green and Growing project (Seedley 2021 – a Music crowdfunding project in Salford by Mike Scantlebury (crowdfunder.co.uk)
Home | Growing Togetherness
Incredible Edible Salford – Incredible Edible

If you would like to listen to the full in-depth interview with Mark Frith, listen below:

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