Project Kent is complete for 2019
01 Aug 2019

After an exciting week, a team of volunteers from Kent Reliance and kmfm, plus record breaking temperatures; the Project Kent team transformed areas of a community garden and classroom hut at Shepway Chariots in Maidstone.

From 22-26 July, the volunteers got stuck in across the week with digging, weeding, chopping, planting, painting, creating, decorating and more. The aim was to make the most of the space, create an enchanted corner and a wildlife area, build a beehive and redecorate the classroom hut to give families more access to this fantastic charity.

Shepway Chariots is a community garden and wildlife corner run completely by volunteers. The half-acre green space encourages local residents and families to learn how to grow, tend and harvest their own fresh fruit and vegetables.

Nikki Gough, Shepway Chariots Founder, commented: "The guys have done a fantastic job, they've powered on in the heat and I love it, I think it’s really brilliant and I can't wait for people to come and see it."

The charity works hard to spread awareness about the environment, biodiversity and wildlife, as well as practice recycling and compositing on site. The small team at Shepway Chariots have regular visits from local primary schools, nurseries and families and hold a free children's gardening club on Saturday mornings called Shepway Shallots!

Andy Golding, CEO of OneSavings Bank and Kent Reliance, said: “It’s easy for a business to write a cheque to a charity - and of course, we do that too - but our Kent Reliance volunteers like to get involved in a hands-on challenge.

“When we can see the transformation for ourselves and have played a part in making a difference, we’re more likely to use that experience to encourage others to do the same. Having spaces like this garden where people can learn practical skills to be able to grow their own vegetables and care for wildlife and the environment is a fantastic idea that all generations can get involved with.”

The whole community in Shepway and the surrounding areas can now can enjoy the sensory elements of the enchanted corner and add their own fairy doors and ornaments. Plus, the children can visit the beehive, explore the ponds and wildlife areas and play in the revamped classroom and nature hideaway on the rainy days.

kmfm presenters, Garry and Laura, Andy Walker, Rob Wills, Emma Jo and Emma Adam joined the Kent Reliance volunteers throughout the week to support the transformation.

Garry and Laura said: "We loved getting stuck in with the Kent Reliance volunteers in various areas of the garden and it was great to get involved in such a community focused project. Also, we enjoyed spending time with the charities team and can't wait to see how they progress from here!"

Lisa Clinton, representing Kent Reliance on the Project Kent team said: “We chose this project among all the nominations because it was driven by residents giving up their own time to transform their community. Our hope is that seeing what’s possible here, inspires others to do the same where they live and leave something for generations to come.”

Richard White, Kent Reliance volunteer, commented: “If we can help its development for the future, we’ve done our job well. We’ve already been able to introduce the charity to our other community partners and we’ll definitely keep up the support.”

The work that the Kent Reliance volunteers carried out wouldn't have been possible without help from local businesses who kindly offered and donated paints, brushes, rollers, gardening gloves, plants and compost so the project could be completed. Notcutts, Wilko and Brewers showed their support throughout the week.

Bray's Bees helped the team build the beautiful beehive and talked through the vital process of caring for our bees.

See the transformation and find out more about the amazing work Shepway Chariots do in the community.


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