Strawberry teas bringing people out of their shells

COMPANY Zara Baines, left on bench, leads a craft workshop at the Southsea Greenhouse strawberry tea           Picture: Sarah Baker
COMPANY Zara Baines, left on bench, leads a craft workshop at the Southsea Greenhouse strawberry tea Picture: Sarah Baker
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Southsea Greenhouse has hosted its first strawberry tea afternoon after receiving a £500 Love Your Street grant.

The group have started a programme to reach out to isolated people in Ports-mouth and bring them into the community.

We are hoping to use our strawberry tea afternoons to help people feel involved in the community to make some friends and try new things

Sue Stokes

Sue Stokes, from Southsea Greenhouse, said: ‘Our Love your Street grant is going to be used to open a few doors for people who perhaps 
don’t often get outside and bring them out of their shells.

‘To us that is what Love your Street is about.’

When people arrived at the greenhouse, they were welcomed by a group of volunteers and introduced to the other individuals who would appreciate some company.

People could then take a walk around the garden and try their hand at a range of craft activities that they can take away with them, led by a volunteer.

This is hoped to be the first step in giving people the confidence to see what they can be involved in around the city.

Sue said: ‘The people we meet every day at our garden come from all sorts of places and the sea and the sun bring them out.

‘We are hoping to use our strawberry tea afternoons to help people feel involved in the community, to make some friends and try new things.

‘We think that it is a good way to say hello to someone who is lonely, has been ill or just moved to Portsmouth and Southsea.

‘It says, “Welcome, and please stay a while.”’

Several of the people invited to the strawberry teas were new arrivals to Portsmouth and this has left a very positive first impression about the community.

People invited to the strawberry teas are encouraged to enjoy the area of natural beauty and take back to their own street an invitation to be part of a growing community.

Zara Baines, a volunteer Southsea Greenhouse committee member, led a craft workshop in the afternoon.

Zara said: ‘I am hoping that they have met some new people, people that they will stay in touch with.

‘Now they have found the gardens, they know that they can come here on their own and be welcomed.’

The group will be hosting a series of afternoon teas at Greens Café Southsea, throughout the summer.

If you would like to know when our strawberry teas are happening, or if you’d like to nominate someone to come along, please either call on 07530 913211 or email southseagreenhouse@gmail.com.