Good Neighbours Garden

Good Neighbours Garden

Good Neighbours Garden

Would you like to:

Meet new people?

Make a difference in your community?

Help neighbours in York and across the world?

Our Volunteers are helping us create a very special community garden and events space in the heart of York.

To find out more and get involved, email


A new community garden in the heart of York

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The Good Neighbours Garden began from a simple idea.

To invest in our local community alongside our international work while moving forward with our mission to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Since York was the first city in the UK to declare a climate emergency, we felt this was particularly important.

When it came to looking for a project, it sat waiting, quite literally, in our back yard.

The courtyard garden facing the back of our head office at 20 Castlegate, lay in a state of decades-old neglect, with debris and overgrown weeds taking unabashed ownership of the place.

We immediately saw the potential to turn this sizeable unused space right in the centre of York, into our very own community garden.

With a bit of tlc, this green hub would become a nurturing and accessible space for local artists, community groups and volunteers to hold meetings and events in the new year.

By mid-September, the project was picking up steam, thanks to our new Community Development Officer, Michael Williams, whose commitment to reviving the garden attracted widespread community interest.

Our initial call for volunteers reached the snickelways of York and those of social media, yielding a gradual turnout of regulars determined to see our community garden become reality.

While we were busy whitewashing the hall and putting together brick flower beds, word of our community garden reached the ears of BBC Radio York who got in touch to hear all about it!

October and November marked the gradual transformation of the garden through a whirlwind of activity that yielded surprising discoveries along the way.

From the 400 year old original bricks we used for our flower beds to an unexpected potato harvest, the garden kept on giving!

In return, we cleared it of debris, prepared the soil for our plant donations, built planters, benches and pathways!

As we put down the finishing touches, it is with gratitude that we reflect on these last few months. The Good Neighbours Garden promised us a community space to host exciting local events and activities.

Yet, little did we anticipate the outpouring of support and solidarity which turned our courtyard garden into the space it is today.

Special thanks goes to Planet SouthBank and Sandra from the U3A group, who look after the Quakers’ garden next door, for their plant donations including hostas, pyracantha, bergenias, hebe, and a large holly bush;

Also a big thank you to St Nick’s who’ve collected our green waste and given us quality compost and to the New Earswick Community Wood Yard for the wood donations.

We were able to recycle the wood into planters, benches and an elf house! We would also like to express our gratitude to Sophie Jewett, owner of York Cocoa House who came by our office and surprised us with a handful of hot chocolate vouchers for our hard working volunteers!

As we saved the best for last, special thanks to all our wonderful volunteers!

A big shout-out to the team of volunteers, including tech company boxxe for rolling their sleeves up and getting stuck in, time and time again!

Also grateful to John Compost Cossham for great advice on all things green and of course, for bringing us fresh compost and spreading the news of our community garden far and wide.

Equal thanks to Emily, Drew and Alan for their keen involvement and to all the wonderful people who’ve graced our Good Neighbours Garden with their time, good humour and skills during these past three months.

We couldn’t have done it without you.

For more information or to get in touch, email

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