Canning Town gardener named a hero for pitching in

A Canning Town man who turned to gardening after a family bereavement has had his selfless efforts rewarded by fellow residents.

Bill Yeoman was presented with the Garden Hero award at a meeting of the Freemasons Road neighbourhood group on January 12.

Bill has been a key part of the successful GreEn 16 project, which is made up of vegetables grown and cultivated in recycled builders’ bags and old food cartons.

Jean McQuaid, who accepted the certificate on his behalf, said he had become a valuable member of the group since being invited to take part. He was put forward for the award by Newham Council participation officer Sam Clark.

She said: “Since he joined the group last year at the beginning of the growing season, he has shared his interest, knowledge, and understanding of gardening with everyone freely.

“He is always willing to pitch in when help is needed or just to socialise with the group, which during winter months has been a boost to the wellbeing of all the gardeners.”

The Garden Heroes competition is run by Capital Growth, a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London, and the Big Lottery’s Local Food Fund.

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GreEn 16 itself also won an award of merit in the 2011 Gardening Against All Odds awards. Brussels sprouts, potatoes, garlic and herbs have been planted in readiness for next spring.

Jean added: “This is such a compliment of how we as members feel about the help and participation in this wonderful community growing garden.”