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Leeds community outreach charity awarded ‘Greener Communities’ funding

A Leeds-based charity has been awarded funding to create a rooftop community garden space which will become a place for people to learn about sustainability, practice life skills and interact with others.

Hamara Healthy Living Centre in Beeston was founded in 1997 to improve the quality of life for local people while reducing inequality and disadvantage for people of all ages.

The funding was awarded by construction company Esh Group as part of a ‘Greener Communities’ grant-giving initiative, which the business launched in partnership with County Durham Community Foundation earlier this year.

Hamara will use the funding to transform their rooftop space into a garden area where members can grow their own fruit and vegetables while socialising with others to improve their own mental health and wellbeing. The group will run sessions each week, with specialist sessions planned for after school groups for children aged 12 and above, over 18s and an over 55s ladies group.

The charity’s HALO project, which supports adults with learning disabilities and autism, will also utilise the space to increase their confidence and independence.

Raheem Mohammad, interim director at Hamara Healthy Living Centre, said:

“Hamara is honoured to receive this funding to support us with a project we have had the intentions to start for several years. There has never been a more needed provision after the COVID-19 outbreak and the recent crisis that is upon us, the rising cost of living. Communities need a space to recharge, socialise and learn lifelong skills and thanks to Esh Construction and County Durham Community Foundation we are able to provide this.”

Esh’s Greener Communities programme aims to help communities become greener through carbon reduction, environmental improvement and education projects. A fund of £50,000 has been allocated to support projects which are centred around green skills, climate resilience, improving green spaces and habitats.

Image: Esh Construction