Sunday, 22 December 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter December 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the volunteers at Winsford Gardens

2019 has turned out to be a very exciting year for Penge Green Gym at Winsford Gardens.  We have continued to attract new volunteers whilst keeping a strong foundation of 'old hands'.   Amongst our achievements we were honoured with a Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service 2019 and our volunteer Thomasz was named 'Volunteer of the year' by Green Flag Awards.  We also received an award from Penge In Bloom and would like to thank our friends in Penge for their support.    

As conservation volunteers, we continue to be committed to improving the park for all the local residents and our aim is always to improve the environment for wildlife and plantlife who make the park their home.

We are looking forward to all the exciting projects we are planning in 2020 and hope to see you all next year. 

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Mayfair property developers fence off Croydon Play Space and Garden

From Croydon and Sutton Guardian

From Inside Croydon

Greedy property developers, who are trying to bully a group of neighbours off the community gardens they have created in South Norwood, have erected a six-foot fence around a children’s play area in Love Lane without seeking any planning permission.......

Sign the Petition to Save Love Lane Green for the Community

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Penge Green Gym picks up National Conservation Award

Penge Green Gym picks up National Conservation Award

Article published in The Bromley Times from TCV press release.

The Penge Green Gym runs outdoor gardening events so residents can keep fit in a different way, and preserve the environment.
Now the team of volunteers have received special recognition at a national event organised by The Conservation Volunteers, or TCV.
The "gym" is run as a community conservation group and has won the Special Recognition Awards at TCV's 60th Anniversary Hero Awards.
Keith Rodwell and Anne Gibney received the award at City Hall in London on Wednesday, October 23.
TCV runs green gyms around the UK and its managing director Craig Lister said this award for Penge was a surprise for its recipients.
The group, supported by intu Bromley and London Borough of Bromley, was created to gather local volunteers with the common aim to transform Winsford Gardens, a hidden green space which previously only attracted anti-social behaviour.
Penge Green Gym became independent in 2013 and is run be a locally based and fully constituted community group.
TCV spokesman Amy Brighton said: "This is an outdoor fitness working in conservation for your health.
"Green gyms are fun and free outdoor sessions where users are guided in practical activities such as planting trees, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds.
"The emphasis is very much on health and fitness - volunteers warm up and cool down in preparation for a range of light to vigorous activities to suit all abilities.
"In fact, almost a third more calories can be burnt in some Green Gym sessions than in an average aerobics class."
TCV said it developed the Green Gym concept to combat the loss of around a third of the UK's natural assets being lost to development or degraded through neglect, enabling volunteers to protect their local green spaces and to take part in practical activity that benefits both their physical and mental health.
Craig said: "Penge Green Gym has created a truly sustainable community group to look after Winsford Gardens is the result 
of the hard work of many 
local volunteers and we are delighted to celebrate their valuable work.
"You really have transformed the gardens and the community."

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

TCV Hero Awards, 23rd October 2019, City Hall, London

Two of our #Penge Green Gym volunteers representing us at the #TCVHeroAwards today at City Hall, London and receiving a Special Recognition Award. Congratulations also to the Conservation Volunteers who are celebrating their 60th Birthday.
Also thanks for the Postcode Lottery support.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter October 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter October 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

QAVS awards ceremony,
Green Flag volunteer of the year
Penge in Bloom

It has been a truly exciting summer for all the volunteers at Penge Green Gym.  Beginning with the ceremony for the Queens Awards for Voluntary Services, 4 volunteers were lucky enough to go to the ceremony held at the Sainsbury's headquarters in London.  Lord Lieutenant Ken Olisa handed out awards to over 20 voluntary groups from the London area who had been recognised for their work in the community.

Next, our own Tomasz Wilshire was nominated for the Keep Britain Tidy volunteer of the year 2019.  Not only did he win, but the vote was unanimous and Paul Todd from Green Flag came and surprised Tomasz with the award.  His parents and grand parents who were visiting from Poland were also able to attend which made a very special event.

And last but not least, Penge Green Gym (Friends of Winsford Gardens) won 'Most Environmentally friendly plot or garden' at the Penge In Bloom awards.  We chose a bird box as our prize which will be put up on one of the trees in the gardens. A big thank you to Alexandra Nurseries for hosting with lovely tea and cakes.

Beautiful autumn colours at Winsford Gardens

The weather so far has been mild but as the nights draw in and thoughts turn to putting the heating on the plants have responded with deep reds and yellows.  Although we try and keep the gardens tidy it is also important not to be too tidy as the invertebrates and birds are making the most of the seed heads and late flowering plants such as ivy, preparing for the winter months.


Thursday, 19 September 2019

Green Flag Award Volunteer of the Year

Tomasz Wiltshire of Penge Green Gym receives his award for Volunteer of the Year 2019 from Paul Todd of Green Flag Awards in Winsford Gardens, Garden Road, Penge, London on 18th September 2019.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Residents Petition Croydon Council for Love Lane

Residents Petition for Love Lane

Residents trying to save the Love Lane community garden from developers have been told by one of their ward councillors that Croydon will not step in with a compulsory purchase order for the plot of land.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter July 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

 Another fun filled Open Day

Our annual open day was once again a great success.  Many local families and residents came to celebrate with us in June.  Lots of fun was had painting pebbles with our friend Jennifer of @pengeontherocks, our wonderful colleague Ching formally of Bromley Green Gym was, once again busy doing wonderful face painting and selling beautiful cards. Children made fat balls for the birds and painted on wood to make a sign for our fence.  The plant stall was very popular this year as were our home-made cakes which were all created by our wonderful volunteers

We are sending out notification for our next AGM on Wednesday 7th August 2018.
WEDNESDAY 7TH AUGUST 2019, 12.30pm

And Finally...
Here's a little resident of our wildlife pond who popped up to say hello.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter June 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

Penge Green Gym receives a QAVS

Penge Green Gym is very excited announce we have been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.  This is a wonderful acknowledgement of all the hard work done by the volunteers over the last 8 years.  We were nominated by Peter Hutchings at TCV and received a visit from Deputy Lieutenant, Colonel Ray Wilkinson  who chatted with all the volunteers and discussed all of the work done at the gardens and benefits of being at volunteer at Penge Green Gym.

The Queen's Award aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.  It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.  Winners are announced each year on 2 June - the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

Representatives of Penge Green Gym Community Group will receive the award from Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London Later this summer.  All of the volunteers were given a QAVS badge.  Brenda and Keith attended the Queen's garden party in May to celebrate the awards.

PGG Chair, Brenda Little says:  "We are absolutely thrilled that the hard work, resilience, tenacity, adaptability and forward-looking mind-set of our long-standing group of volunteers has been honoured nationally in this way." 

Open Day 2019

We are very excited that the local community can celebrate our award with us at the open day which is this Sunday 11am-4pm!  There will be lots to do and you can enjoy some lovely live music and homemade cakes too.  So come along and see what the fuss is all about!

And finally...

If all of that wasn't exciting enough, the garden looks spectacular at the moment.  The roses (which we pruned hard in the spring) are looking fabulous, and the old varieties are very fragrant.  So come and have a sniff.


Sunday, 2 June 2019

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2019

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2019

This year we have been honoured to be recipients of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, equivalent to an MBE for voluntary groups.

It was given to us for for helping people to learn gardening skills and enjoy nature

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK.

Winners get a certificate signed by the Queen and a domed glass crystal. Representatives from the group may also be invited to attend a royal garden party. Our Chair and Vice-Chair were invited last month.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Winsford Gardens Annual Open Day 2019

This year our Winsford Gardens Annual Open Day will be on 

Sunday 9th June 11am – 4pm

Plant sale, refreshments, children’s activities, live music, 
painting with Penge on the Rocks…

Treasure Hunt. Music from Musica Medioca. Homemade refreshments. 
And much more…

– a Penge Festival event –

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Penge Green Gym Newsletter March 2019

See what's happening in Penge this week....

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

Waitrose Community matters fund

Penge green gym has been fortunate enough to be picked by Waitrose once more to be a recipient of its community matters fund.  All you need to do is go to Waitrose in Beckenham (next to the station) in the month of March, pick up a green token at the check out (or self service checkout) and put it in the perspex box.  We will recieve a portion of the money raised along with 2 other good causes.  Thank you to Waitrose in being so generous in picking us again.  

Spring at Winsford Gardens
After what feels like a fairly short and mild winter the last week has been glorious (if somewhat strange) for February.  Looking back at pictures from last year it is hard to believe it is the same month!

 So we have taken full advantage of the good weather and got on with lots of repairs giving the fences and benches some much needed tlc.  We have particularly enjoyed repairing the dead hedges and hazel fences with coppiced hazel and willow kindly donated by TCV groups in Croydon and South Norwood Country park respectively.  We have repaired and varnished some of the benches and cleared the growing area in preparation for sowing seeds in the the new season.  

We also received some new shrubs from Idverde including Dogwoods.  We have made new beds and look forward to them filling out in the coming years.

Now is the time to come and see the spring bulbs.  They are in full bloom and looking fabulous.  And with the warm weather we have had lots of solitary bees enjoying the Mahonia and other early flowering plants.