A COMMUNITY has rallied together to celebrate the opening of a new garden funded by a campaign backed by The News.
The scenic space in Bransbury Park was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr David Fuller and supporters from Eastney Community Centre Association.
The garden was created following a successful bid by Eastney Community Centre last year for £500 from the Love Your Street campaign, a grants project where people were urged to work with their neighbours to build stronger communities.
Additional funding also came from the Milton Community Infrastructure Levy Fund.
The money has been used to level out the space outside the community centre’s cafe, and install new chairs, picnic tables and raised flowerbeds, which were built and planted by volunteers.
Among the invited guests were family members of one of Portsmouth’s longest-serving councillors and founding member of Eastney Community Centre Vernon Bye, who saw the Lord Mayor lead a dedication of a memorial bench in his honour.
Terry Hall, chairwoman of the centre’s trustees and leader of the community garden project, said: ‘Vernon was always helping people with any problems they might have and supporting projects to make Eastney a better place in which to live, such as making the community centre the heart of its local area.
‘We were delighted that so many members of his family, some who made a special trip all the way from Ireland, could come and witness our tribute to his legacy.’
The project received donations of bird boxes from the RSPB, pansies from English Landscapes and sponsorship from local gardener Peter Stroud, from ABM Garden Delights, who provided plants, bulbs and gave his time to share his expertise.
Eastney Community Centre held its annual summer fair with games, competitions and stalls of hand-made crafts, jewellery and cakes.