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A woman in a blue coat sits on a bench. Her name is Linda and she volunteers for Beeston in Bloom

Linda Stanley – Beeston in Bloom

“Rewarding, friendship, community”

The logo for Beeston in Bloom is “promote community pride”, they aim to improve their local area through gardening. Linda told me about the “precious green space” that Cross Flatts Park is, sitting in the heart of Beeston surrounded by houses. The park garden alongside borders, planters and painted utility boxes are all noticeable ways that the group, of which Linda is the secretary, makes a difference to the community.

When Linda retired early, she knew she’s need something to keep her busy, after going to a VAL pop up event, now open all the time at the Volunteer Centre in Kirkgate Market, Linda was able to fill out a questionnaire that paired her interests and location to the perfect volunteering role for her. Linda has since had the opportunity to take on more responsibility within Beeston in Bloom and now runs their social media, funding bids and organises their meetings.The image says “I have found out so much about the area where I live, when I lived here I was at work so I had no idea what was happening"

By running the Facebook page Linda sees all the community support that gets behind the group, she also sees this support when people come up and have chats with her whilst she’s gardening, all of them appreciative of the effort that goes into maintaining the beautiful gardens. Gardening is not only a way for Linda to give back to her community, but it allows her to connect with it and learn more about the area she lives in.

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