Improving community safety, cohesion and wellbeing

25 April 2019
In Brockley, South East London, on a site previously used for fly tipping, Frendsbury Gardens has grown into a vital shared space and wildlife garden that improves community safety, cohesion and wellbeing. Volunteers are needed to deliver the final part of the community project and build the outdoor classroom, designed by Ramboll. 
Young volunteer poses with roof tiles decorated by local residents

Young volunteer poses with roof tiles decorated by local residents

Contact

Tom Harley-Tuffs

Tom Harley-Tuffs

Senior Engineer
M: +44 7976 894 919

Knives, syringes and rubbish were once about the only things occupying an abandoned patch of land in Brockley, an area of social housing where many families do not have access to a garden and have limited access to outdoor play space. Nadine Hibbert, chair of Frendsbury Gardens, sourced funding and volunteers to transform the site and create an open, accessible space and wildlife garden that improves community safety, cohesion and wellbeing. 

Frendsbury Gardens is a much-loved community space that runs numerous educational and wellbeing sessions for children, students and vulnerable or isolated adults and therapeutic gardening sessions for those with mental health issues. The garden also includes land for growing fruit and vegetables which can be harvested by the community for their personal use. Find out more about Frendsbury Gardens here.

A lack of shelter has limited the usability of the garden so to ensure the garden can be utilised and enjoyed all year-round a sheltered outdoor classroom and performance space is being built. Aligning with the community spirit of Frendsbury Gardens, visitors and local residents have been encouraged to participate in the build and to decorate their own tiles which will be used to create the protective roof.

Frendsbury Gardens needs you

Ramboll is proud to support this community initiative, leading the design, structural engineering services and sustainability strategy for the next phase of the garden’s development - the outdoor classroom. The classroom is to be built completely by volunteers and we encourage you to join in and help create this much needed shelter.

No formal building skills are necessary; if you would attempt an IKEA flatpack, you have the skills needed. Tools and hard hats will be provided, and Ramboll and Mace will be on hand throughout the build offering their expert support and guidance.

Register to volunteer here.

Friends of Frendsbury Gardens

All project team members have donated their time, expertise and materials pro-bono to help Frendsbury Gardens achieve their vision. Alongside Ramboll, the project team includes contractor Mace, architect Tom Kyle, GKR Scaffolding, OSC Sales and Cut & Construct.

Tom Harley-Tuffs, senior engineer at Ramboll, comments: “We love it when we get to use our skills and expertise to really benefit a community. This a totally unique project, with unusual and technically challenging geometry that has been fun to push the limits of design and manufacturing. 

Continuing the community involvement has been a key driver to the build. From making and decorating the tile cladding, to piecing together the complex plywood structure, local residents and volunteers are a major part of the design and construction process.

Frendsbury Garden has undergone an incredible transformation over the past few years, and this timber shelter will be an iconic centrepiece to the regeneration. I can’t wait to see it in use.”

Ramboll has always been a company driven by a sense of purpose and a strong set of values. Frendsbury Gardens aligns perfectly with Ramboll’s mission to create sustainable societies where people and nature flourish. As a signatory of the Time to Change Employer Pledge, Ramboll is a strong supporter of the mental health agenda and was delighted to help Frendsbury Gardens increase the support they offer to the local community.

Video: East London Lines

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