A Salford woman has used Facebook and Go Fund Me to raise money and encourage volunteers to join her in giving the planters in Salford Quays a new lease of life.

Setting up to plant azaleas in the planters by the Imperial War Museum, Linda Done said: “We were part of a litter-picking group around The Quays and as we went round, we realised that the council weren’t doing as much care as we’d like them to for the surrounding areas, so we thought it might be an idea to do some gardening.

Credit: Ellie Double

“It was a mess, you know… you couldn’t see the trees… it was four-foot high, the weeds… and also, the different people that came just enjoyed the chat… it’s just a nice thing to do.

“It did develop a little bit of a community group, and there’s lots and lots of support on the Facebook group which is nice.”

Linda opened a Go Fund Me to raise £200 to buy plants and treat the volunteers to a takeaway pizza, which she reached in a week. The page is still open so they can continue to plant, but Linda insisted: “It’s not about money, is it? It’s about time.”

After raiding her dad’s garage to get equipment, Linda and other volunteers have been fixing up the planters over the past six months. Last week they planted pansies.

She said: “It’s achievable, it’s something you can do, it’s a nice way to spend a few hours. I’m not suggesting I’m going to convert the whole of The Quays, I mean, that would be ridiculous.”

Denise Collins, a first-time volunteer who discovered the project through Facebook, brought her green fingers to lend a hand.

She said: “I’ve always enjoyed gardening – I did have a garden until we moved down to Media City and then I gave the garden up … but I do enjoy gardening, there’s nothing nicer on a day like today.”

Credit: Ellie Double

Although this was Denise’s first-time volunteering, Linda and the other volunteers’ efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“It just looks cleaner, it looks as though somebody is caring for it, somebody is tending to it and somebody is taking an interest in it and trying to make the most of it to brighten it up for everybody.”

To get involved or donate, visit Salford Quays Community Forum on Facebook where Linda regularly posts updates or the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/flowers-for-the-planters

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