We Bloom – bringing a virtual community garden to Leyton
Information on this project in other local languages can be found here
We Bloom is part of our Quality Street project. Last summer, at the end of the first year of the Quality Street project the ‘Meet the Street’ festival took over the playground at George Mitchell Primary School and brought together more than 300 people from the school, local care settings, local organisations (such as Leyton Orient Walking Football Club), friends and neighbours. In the spring of 2020 the Quality Street steering group were working on a new festival for this July but then the Covid-19 pandemic scuppered their plans and made such a gathering impossible.
Three local artists, Grace White, Jo Scholar and Irene Pulga (who are part of the steering group) have come up with an alternative – We Bloom – as a way for people to be creative together whilst apart. It is designed so that people can share stories, connect with neighbours and celebrate with their community. Invitations have gone out via the school, local care partners and by leaflet drop in Byron Road inviting people to get involved. Those signing up will get a project pack to help them make unique handmade items as a gift to someone else in the community, and artworks that become a unique pop-up community garden at the school.
Virtual festival day – 11 July
The project will culminate in an afternoon of gift-giving and festivity. Throughout the afternoon the garden will be brought to life at George Mitchell school and local residents will be invited to see it. It will be presented in a way that will enable safe socially-distanced viewing and managed in line with government guidelines on gatherings
The idea behind the virtual garden is cultivating a community in the way we would cultivate a plot of land, with care, generosity, kindness and patience, with ideas, imagination and creativity.
As part of the event ‘festival’ bikes will travel as specified route to facilitate the exchange of gifts between local extra care schemes and the school. The route will be advertised in advance and people will be encouraged to come to their doorsteps to see them pass by and encourage them on their journey. The bicycles will have a travelling carnival feel with music and decorations. The community will also be encouraged to interact on digital platforms using the hash tag #WeBloomQualitySt
If you are local keep an eye out for the bike as it travels this route on Saturday 11 July from 2.30pm
We Bloom is part of the At Home Together programme Magic Me’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The artists have created short video tutorials for some activities:
Flowers how to
Origami Bugs how to
Here are some of the artworks we have already received for our virtual garden (click on any thumbnail picture to open the gallery):