Tullibody Community Garden was awarded the Community Group of the Year award, as well as a Countywide Community Group award in 2022.
Tullibody Community Garden was dreamed up in 2016 in response to a community request. It took just under a year to secure funding and get going, and since then the garden, along with its volunteers, has flourished.
In 2022, Tullibody Community Garden won both Clacks Third Sector Interface’s Community Group of the Year award, and the Countywide Community Group award for West Clacks.
“The visit to Tullibody gave a really good insight into what is possible for a community to achieve in a relatively small area and had all the features that one would wish to learn about for the creation of a similar garden in Larbert. Very useful learning experience.” David Robertson, Larbert Villages Allotment Association
The community garden was conceived as a project for getting local residents out into the fresh air, working together towards a common goal. It recruits and supports local people in volunteering their skills, and also helps them improve their confidence and health. It is a fantastic introduction to many into running community events and activities.
Working in partnership with other local and national organisations, Tullibody Community Garden benefited from a Climate Challenge Fund award in 2016 and 2017, which was used to build a social area, a polytunnel, and accessible raised beds, among other features.
Many, if not all, of the volunteers are economically inactive, and working in the garden gives them a sense of purpose and community. The range of skills is vast, with some starting out with no gardening experience at all, while others have a history as amateur or professional gardeners.
The stated aims, which the garden has done an incredible job of meeting, include making freshly grown local produce available within the community at an affordable price; encouraging visitors and volunteers to travel ‘actively’ to the garden; encouraging both individuals and businesses to reduce their food waste and recycle garden resources; and encouraging members of the community to grow their own fruit and vegetables wherever possible.
“I’m overawed at how talented and able they are. Volunteering has helped them in a number of ways – it’s boosted their confidence, got them out of the house, and obviously it’s keeping them physically active! It’s also been a great opportunity for everyone to use their knowledge and skills.” – Sarah Watts, Tullibody Community Garden
The work they have undertaken over the last year especially contributed to winning both awards. By scheduling regular activities such as open days, weekly sales of fruit, veg and flowers, and care of the orchard, the garden has made itself a vital community asset. Visitors and new volunteers alike are guaranteed a warm welcome, even if the weather is less clement, with home-baking, copious cups of tea, and a buddy system, so even the ‘greenest’ new volunteer can be sure of getting their hands dirty.
Tullibody Community Garden goes from strength to strength, and shows what is possible with some foresight and a team of dedicated volunteers. It is a great resource for other communities to learn from, and the garden volunteers are always happy to share their model and time with other groups. Winning these two awards is well-earned recognition for the longevity and long reach of their project. The real reward remains the sense of community and friendship that has grown at Tullibody Community Garden.