The Foster Garden project, run by Keighley Urban Meadows, brought local people together for regular workshops and activities. Through these, isolated people grew social links, shared new skills and regenerated a local community centre.

5 people stand with tools in a garden

The project was set up by Keighley Urban Meadows, a community group promoting the shared ownership of the local environment. The aim was to create social links within the neighbourhood, promote ownership of the place and teach new skills.

Part of the project was regenerating the local community centre, Foster Garden Centre, which was at threat of closure. Indoor workshops and activities at the centre included bingo, crafts, cooking and lunch clubs. Alongside this were outdoor workshops at the allotments. These included foraging, bush craft skills and regenerating public spaces (such as planting wildflowers).

While the group was open to everyone within the local community, several members had experienced social isolation. They were able to develop their social networks by taking part in activities at the allotments, at the community centre or out in the community. Some members found that they became more comfortable in social situations, having improved their social skills through a shared hobby.

Group members were inspired to try new things, joining other community-based groups such as walking clubs and volunteering. Members’ increased confidence brought longer-term benefits as the group collectively designed activities to meet their own needs and with the wider community in mind.

The group realise what an inspiration they are and how they can inspire the wider community.

Project Lead

Funded by People's Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery Yorkshire and Humber