Educational charity Global Generation have been creating community gardens and popups in Camden since 2009 and established their Story Garden in 2019. Based behind the British Library in Somers Town, it hosts community workshops, collaborative projects, and the garden itself has come about through community volunteering. The Story Garden was nominated for recognition by residents for providing ‘access to nature, gardening opportunities and outdoor activities during the pandemic’.
We spoke with Nicole Van den Eijnde, Global Generation’s Director and Malaika Bain-Peachey, Community Gardener, about their experiences.
What is the main thing you have learned from the pandemic period?
Nicole: I’ve learned that we all have to navigate uncertainty in our lives, and instead of being paralysed by this, we can collaborate and support each other to get through it. It’s also been an opportunity to pause and reflect, and think differently and creatively.
Malaika: I feel similarly – it’s been a time to embrace uncertainty rather than fight it. I’ve learned so much more about what we do and can do as an organisation, how we can work together with and best represent our local community and be a part of change through environmental education.
What are your hopes for the future?
Nicole: Our garden sites are temporary until the land gets built on, so we’re proactively working with others to ensure that there is a longer legacy for the Story Garden. We want to work with residents around more greening in the local area, and encouraging more food growing.
Malaika: I hope that we can get to the bottom of issues around food poverty and environmental injustice, rather than just tackling emergency needs. We need long-term solutions.