The Phoenix Garden

A retreat from the stress of the city

It’s amazing just how many types of animal, bird and insect can survive in the centre of London, given the opportunity. At the Phoenix Garden in the heart of the West End, they’re visited by more than 15 species of bee and 10 species of bird, and are home to the West End’s only frogs.

During the lockdowns, green spaces in urban areas have been more important than ever for London’s residents. Particularly for the 48.2% of older people in the area who live alone.

It’s why we gave a grant of £10,000 to support the Phoenix Garden to run classes for up to 100 people in horticulture and wildlife, painting, yoga, and flower arranging. Our grant will also fund volunteering opportunities at the garden.

Bringing together people from across generations and backgrounds, the workshops and activities will help tackle social isolation and improve mental health and wellbeing. Topics include wildlife gardening techniques, pond-dipping and species identification, ‘seed bomb’ making, food growing and plant pot making. The garden will also host educational talks on local history and horticulture.

  • In the area around the Phoenix Garden only 2% of homes have access to nature, compared with a London-wide average of 74%.
  • Around 30,000 people visit the Phoenix Garden every year – as well as 15 species of bee and 10 species of bird.
  • Our grant is funding classes, talks and activities, for up to 100 people, that will help reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing in the local community.

“Living in the Covent Garden area I feel so lucky to have the Phoenix Garden to visit and I love going to classes there. I’m a senior citizen living [nearby] and have problems walking any great distance. So classes there are walkable for me …In the past I’ve done chair yoga and had help with my iPad and phone. Classes elsewhere in the borough are too far for me to go and not in such pleasant surroundings.”

Jean, local resident

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