Skip to content

City Garden Project Recalls Night it Scooped People’s Millions Cash

March 13, 2013
Carol Jones from Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff recalls the night they won on the People's Millions competition

Carol Jones from Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff recalls the night they won on the People’s Millions competition

The Big Lottery Fund is giving away four bumper awards of £50,000 in Wales as the People’s Millions TV funding competition 2013 launches today. Community projects could be in with a chance of bagging the cash provided that entrants can convince their community through a broadcast on ITV Wales news that their idea is worthy of the prize.

In 2010, Chapter Community Arts Centre in Cardiff won a slice of the People’s Millions cash and transformed the Chapter frontage into an edible landscape of fruit, flowers and vegetables. Chapter and the local gardeners, Canton Community Gardens, also use the project to help raise awareness of food production and allow local residents, volunteers and schools to learn practical gardening and recycling skills and find out more about sustainability. Carol Jones from Chapter recalls the night they won the competition . . .

I still have a vivid memory of the minute the announcement was made that we’d won the People’s Millions vote. We were all standing in the cinema foyer at Chapter, the film cameras were rolling and some of us were dressed as giant vegetables – a red pepper, a giant pea-pod, an aubergine. It was a bizarre and nerve-racking experience. We really were on tenterhooks until the last moment. 

The group at Chapter campaign to win votes from the public.

The group at Chapter campaign to win votes from the public.

There was a huge, spontaneous cry of delight when we found out we’d won. Many people had worked really hard to take the idea of a community garden at Chapter from the first fledging thought through to the wonderful edible landscape that’s there today. Canton Community Gardens were the real heroes and campaigned like mad in the weeks leading up to the vote. Local residents and a huge range of Chapter customers also helped out to spread the word and get as many people as possible involved. 

The People’s Millions money has made an enormous difference. It’s meant that we could sort out the hard landscaping, buy tools and equipment and make our initial efforts bear fruit – literally! Last year we had great crops of broccoli, beans, kale, raspberries and much more. Everyone can help themselves to the pickings and many come along, pick what they need and leave the rest for others. It’s brought so many new people into Chapter and people love the chance to get involved with the planting.

The project worked with the local community and schools to generate votes

The project worked with the local community and schools to generate votes

We’ve worked with local schools and community gardens to make the garden grow and on the production of a beautiful set of illustrated recipe and how to grow cards. We’ve also hosted many things in the garden from a theatre performance based around a garden shed, a Jubilee Big Lunch to regular food and festival events. But perhaps a highlight is the work of our very busy bees who last year produced a bumper crop of honey. 

I’d definitely urge anyone who’s thinking of applying to go for it. If you’re passionate about your project it’s a great way to make something wonderful happen. 

For more information about Chapter Arts Centre, visit www.chapter.org


To find out more about The People’s Millions competition and how you can apply for funding, visit www.peoplesmillions.org.uk
   

Or watch the video below to find out how you can apply . . .  

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: