Businesses and volunteers from around Baker Street and Marylebone rolled up their sleeves and jumped in to help restore the gardens of the Portman Early Childhood Centre. Over 30 people from Church Street area got involved, including employees from London & Regional Properties, The Portman Estate, and Double Tree by Hilton Marble Arch.
The hard graft included dredging and cleaning the water feature, landscaping the flower beds (including planting close to 200 new plants), replacing and repairing worn timbers and creating an allotment.
The Portman Early Childhood Centre is situated within the Church Street Ward which has been ranked as the sixth most deprived in the country. It is a community centre that supports around 90 children providing education, play and a wider array of family services including parenting support.
The Baker Street Quarter Partnership, which represents over 170 businesses in the Baker Street and Marylebone area, coordinated the project as part of its Smarter Giving initiative where it enables its members to support local causes. Like making sure the gardens were ready for children to use by spring. This entailed fundraising £4000 to buy materials for the project (plants, paint, wood and decking, pump and materials for the water feature) and costs for ongoing maintenance.
“We are incredibly honoured and grateful,” said Joanna White, Head Teacher and Manager of The Portman Early Childhood Centre, “to have received such a large level of support from local businesses and volunteers, which has secured the future of the gardens, allowing them to be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
“Our thanks go to the Baker Street Quarter Partnership for facilitating this project and the local businesses who have supported us. Without this kind of support we would not be able to carry on providing the services that we do.”
Chris Longman, General Manager of London & Regional properties, which co-led the project said, “I was delighted and amazed to see how much time and resources were provided, both on the day itself and in the background during the fundraising period. This is a key example of how local businesses can help support the community for the better and we hope that the children enjoy using the new facilities.”