Peterborough ‘bathtub gardens’ group wins top national award
A Peterborough social enterprise have been awarded a national award for the ‘Best response to climate change.’
Up the Garden Bath were named the winners of the Best Response to Climate Change category in a virtual awards ceremony held by UK wide charity Social Farms & Gardens last month.
Gardeners, farmers and community champions tuned in from all over the country to hear some incredible stories about how green spaces are being used to farm, garden and grow together.
The awards had originally been planned to mark the organisation’s 40th birthday in 2020 but were postponed due to the pandemic.
Up The Garden Bath are a not-for-profit social enterprise that take old bathtubs and other discarded materials to upcycle them into garden planters.
The projects usually involve building a raised wooden surround for the bathtub, transforming it into a contained growing space at a height that is easily accessible for children, the elderly or disabled.
They are based in Cambridgeshire, with a number of units in Peterborough, including Orton Southgate.
Recently, volunteers teamed up with residents in Orton to begin ‘Project Orton’ a new project designed at planting flowers and other plants to rejuvenate rundown areas of the community.
Winners were selected from hundreds of nominations received for seven separate categories, with an extra “Covid Response Hero” awarded on the night to recognise the incredible efforts made by the winner to support communities through the pandemic.
Despite the virtual nature of the ceremony, there was a real sense of community and fun throughout with presenters revealing the winner’s names from gold envelopes and winners sharing their stories.
The judges were impressed by how the community had been involved in converting old bathtubs into innovative planters and how the team had engaged a wide network of cross-sector partners.
They commended Up the Garden Bath, saying “the deceptively simple upcycling idea provides a great way to ‘green up’ very small spaces as well as addressing the serious environmental issue of fly tipping in a positive way”.
Kez Hayes-Palmer from, Up The Garden Bath, said: “We are honoured and humbled to win this prestigious award. We are just trying to inspire people and demonstrate that anything can be upcycled.
“We pride ourselves on reducing waste whilst empowering communities and creating opportunities. We want to make gardening accessible to everyone regardless of demographic and physical abilities”.
Chris Blythe, Director of Social Farms & Gardens, added: “How our members have supported their communities through the pandemic – nurturing safe outdoor spaces for our well-being, staying connected with vulnerable people, as well as growing and distributing freshly grown produce to families in need – has revealed the value of spaces that connect people and nature.
“SF&G’s postponed 40th Anniversary Awards Ceremony was an excellent opportunity to recognise just some of the achievements and efforts of these groups over the past four decades.”
The awards were sponsored by McClarrons, an independent insurance brokers specialising in the care and social welfare and farming sectors, with the Royal Agricultural University also sponsoring two awards.
You can find out more about Up The Garden Bath by visiting their website, www.upthegardenbath.co.uk.