Last Wednesday was the official opening of the Sensory area of the Clarences Community Gardens.

In April 2018 Billingham Environmental Link Programme (BELP) reached out to the people of Billingham, friends in the VCSE Sector, and the wider community of Stockton-on-Tees to ask you all to promote and help secure BELP’s bid for the Peoples Projects Lottery Funding for the Clarences Community Gardens.

BELP had been selected as one of five regional finalists in the People’s Project, however, the success of the bid was determined by public vote and the project captured everyone’s imagination and as a result, was placed in the top three projects nationally and managed to secure £50,000.

Since then lots of hard work has been undertaken by BELP staff, volunteers and the local community to deliver the project and the result is outstanding to say the least.

The gardens have been transformed to include a sensory garden, herb garden and chicken area and BELP are already delivering community projects on site and local residents are engaged in outdoor growing and cooking programmes there. They are now looking forward to delivering their Six Weeks of Summer Family Gardening Project on the site.

The opening was attended by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Durham, representatives from Stockton Borough Council, Tesco Billingham, Royal British Legion, Catalyst Stockton-on-Tees, Suez, CF Fertilsers, FujiFilm, Thirteen Group, Billingham Town Council, Clarences Residents Action Group, Clarences Gardening Club, local churches, Involve CIC, Friends of Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park, Friends of Billingham Station, Billingham Legacy Foundation and children from Roseberry Primary School and High Clarence Primary School sang All Things Bright and Beautiful.

The site was officially opened Jacob Smithson, who was the youngest resident of the Clarences in attendance and was chosen as he will benefit from the site for the longest period of time.

BELP are really interested in working with local VCSE partners to see how they could make use of the site to support their own clients/users.

For more information please contact James Hadman on james@belp-enterprise.co.uk