The Friends of Leigh Library Gardens

The Friends of Leigh Library Gardens

The Friends of Leigh Library Gardens (FOLLG) have reached their fundraising target to install a new People’s Path in the Upper Gardens thanks to fantastic community support and a generous donation from the Lions Club of Leigh-on-Sea.

A new path along the desire line in the Gardens which runs along the hedge behind the buildings on Broadway West was identified as a priority for local residents and users of the Gardens at the Public Consultation help in December 2019. It represented a significant cost and the Friends could only undertake the project with help from the community. Fundraising began in August and the Friends were supported by many local shops and businesses who displayed the People’s Path posters to raise awareness of the campaign.

The amount needed to install the path was £5615. Over the last two months individuals and local companies have donated and helped the fund reach more than £3,500. The Leigh-on-Sea Lions voted to donate the remaining monies and ensure the project could go ahead.

Tim Watts, President of the Lions Club of Leigh-on-Sea, explained how the Club became involved: “Leigh Lions have been serving the town for nearly 30 years and during the COVID crisis, we’ve been supporting many local people who are shielding. We have seen just how important our open spaces have become in that time, so we were pleased to join with others in the community in supporting FOLLG’s appeal and improve our much loved Library Gardens.
One of Lions’ key causes is the environment, and having quality green space is vital to people’s well-being. We feel that the new path will make the Gardens more accessible, as well as generally improving the appearance of the space.”

Russell Hallmark, Chair of the Friends of Leigh Library Gardens said “We are so delighted with the response from the local community who have donated because they value the Gardens and have happy memories of taking their children or grandchildren there and the businesses such as the Redmond Group who made larger donations. The People’s Path is a lasting benefit for all Library Gardens users and a testament to People power. We want to thank everyone who donated. We are really, really grateful.”

Work parties in the Gardens take place from 10 – 11.30am on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. No gardening experience is needed and no special skills are required. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends, get some exercise in the fresh air and benefit the local community. All are welcome.

Anyone wishing to join the Friends of Leigh Library Gardens should make contact by emailing follg2018@gmail.com. As well as work in the Gardens, there are other roles and tasks to do such as fundraising and publicity.
Follow the Friends of Leigh Library Gardens on Facebook @friendsofleighlibrarygdns to keep updated with developments.

Photo shows FOLLG volunteers:
Back row left to right  Steve Huber, Anne Murtaugh, Heather Swain, Liz Evans
Front row: Tim Watts, President Leigh on Sea Lions Club and Russell Hallmark, Chair of Friends of Leigh Library Gardens
SAVS
rsavage@savs-southend.co.uk