Here's a heart warming story that shows what communities and businesses can do when they work together. After thieves broke into Hulme Community Garden Centre in Manchester recently, local businesses rallied around to help the group through the crisis in a decisive show of support.
Hulme Community Garden centre is a not for profit organisation which brings the local community together through gardening and provides vital green space in urban Manchester. It offers a range of volunteering and training sessions: working with groups with learning disabilities and mental health issues; toddler groups; school groups; probationers and mainstream volunteers who help develop, maintain and manage the gardens. Each week up to 100 volunteers engage: with ages from babies to people more than 80 years old, from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The site was the target for thieves last week, when they broke in and stole a van, tools and money. But the garden centre found lots of local heroes and business heroes to help them sort out the mess left by the thieves. Hundreds of well-wishers on social media helped spread a call-out for help with changing all the locks on the site and fixing a window broken by the thieves.
And the response was fantastic, according to Hulme Community Garden Centre's Rachel Summerscales: "Everyone shared our posts far and wide, which meant the lovely Helen at Timpsons found out about our situation and sent Noel, an angel in uniform, who changed every lock for us and who then got nearly one hundred staff keys cut at no charge! Then One Manchester Housing sent out Ryan a knight in shining armour to fix the smashed window. We can't thank these people enough, or those who shared our updates on Twitter and Facebook. Along with other local people and businesses - Venture Arts took in our organic veg boxes and Cafe Ooh La La fed us all - the day was much more bearable thanks to all these heroes!"
While the thieves managed to get away with petty cash, a bike and a projector as causing a lot of hassle for everyone at the centre, the van and all tools were recovered. And thanks to the efforts of the local business heroes, Hulme Community Garden centre is now back up and running again.
If you want to do your bit to support Hulme Community Garden Centre, why not vote for them as part of the Aviva Community Fund. See the following link for details: https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-4666#5