White House Community Garden - before

White House Community Garden seeks support from Londoners

07 September 2016

White House Community Garden is one of 20 locally initiated crowdfunding campaigns to receive a pledge from the Mayor of London in Round 3 of our Civic Crowdfunding pilot.

This means that if the campaign can raise all of the rest of the total project budget from 'the crowd', the Mayor will donate £20,000 and it can become a reality. The deadline for this fundraising is 16th September 2016.

Teri Laing of Create, the group behind the project, explains more…

Tell us about your organisation and its key aims

Create exists to explore the ways artists can contribute to the lives of people in cities. We help artists to connect more closely with communities through an ambitious programme of projects.

What is your project, why is it important and how will it help people in your area? 

We want to create a beautiful, green, educational space on the Becontree Estate in Dagenham, once the largest council estate in the world, for the benefit of diverse local communities. The White House Community Garden will be on the site of a listed farmhouse, which we’re currently restoring as a new public space for art and communal activity with the support of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

The garden is the icing on the cake; a resource that helps to regenerate the area, to promote neighbourhood volunteering and which brings people together for a common.

What’s your best experience of the Mayor’s crowdfunding pilot been so far?

The highlight of our campaign has definitely been receiving £10k from the Mayor. We’ve also enjoyed spreading the word locally, making our Spacehive film with local people committed to changing their locality and having the opportunity to share our campaign with a wider audience at events.

Why, when and how should people pledge to you? 

The White House Community Garden will be open for all local residents to use, reflecting the historical tradition and importance of gardens on the estate. From the 1920s living in Becontree meant having a place to grow plants, fruit and vegetables and spend leisure time outside for the first time since World War 1. Things have changed drastically but we want to bring that back.

The garden will serve as a new place where people of all ages and backgrounds can reconnect with nature, learn to grow plants, gain new skills and meet new people. The White House and its garden will be a new landmark asset for Becontree and a source of inspiration for resident artists to produce new work with local people for at least the next 25 years.

Do you have any public events or media appearances coming up?

We’ll be hosting an Open Day at the White House on Sat 20 August. Come and join us to celebrate the opening, see the house, meet our resident artists and see just how important the garden is to the site. 

You can find out more about local events and activities at the White House on our Facebook page or at CreateLondon.org.

LDN gov| The White House Community Garden