Royal Borough of Greenwich is historically associated with armed forces The Royal Artillery Barracks is situated in Woolwich and was the home of the Royal Artillery from 1776 until 2007. Thus naturally, there are many in-service and armed forces veterans are either serving or living in the local area.
As army personnel and their families mostly interact and socialise within their community, it is seen that they are not well integrated with civilian community even after their retirement. Whereas civilian community is not always aware of armed forces’ achievements and contribution to the community and the nation. Skills & Greenwich working in partnership with Ministry of Defence launched a project called “Together We Grow” that brings together armed forces and civilian community together and create a common place to integrate and create a social harmony within the communities.
Together We Grow is a community allotment project where participants come together and grow fruits & vegetable together. The project provide a place to socialise, create new friends, allow them to share their experience with each other and also share the fruits & vegetables they grow. Since we started the project in January 2016, the project have proved to be a most creative and successful project. As Gurkhas are integral part of the British Army and Greenwich being the borough where the largest population of Gurkha veteran resides, the services are mainly used by the Gurkhas Widows and veterans.
Sonia Thapa, the project co-ordinator says “The Garden is a gathering place for the elderly Gurkha ladies, who come here and socialise among themselves and also with the other plot holders. They grow together and share the produce. The Garden helping the vulnerable people to combat with isolations and loneliness”.
The project is based in Middle Park Avenue, Eltham.