A NEGLECTED wasteland has been transformed into a multi-coloured oasis of tranquillity by a troop of dedicated volunteers.
An area of “no man’s land” in Parr, which used to be frequented by intimidating gangs, has been turned into a picturesque community garden.
Volunteers at the Derbyshire Hill Family Centre spent countless hours sprucing the garden up and planting flowers and veg.
And the transformation has been so startling that couples who tie the knot at the church next door are now asking to have their wedding photos taken there!
Community centre treasurer Eddie McConville told the Reporter: “A lot of work has gone into this and it’s nice that people have gone out of their way to say how good it now looks. We’ve now got raised beds and hanging baskets where there used to be nothing.
“One of our volunteers, who is an extremely good gardener, regularly spent 18 hours a day working on this project. She’s incredible.
“We’ve even entered the garden into this year’s Britain in Bloom competition. We’ll find out in October if we’ve made it to the next round.”
The transformation of the wasteland has echoed the upturn in fortunes at the community centre too.
Back in 2006, the centre was on the verge of closure due to £8,000 worth of debt.
But Eddie and his team of devoted volunteers stepped in to cut back on all the cash that didn’t need to be spent and, with the help of several grants, the centre has recorded a profit ever since.
Eddie added: “We’ve never stopped looking ahead at what needs to be done next. And we’ve now got a wide range of groups meeting here and hiring out the rooms every week.
“We now host the Wildcard ABC boxing club, childrens line dancing, sports for disabled children, bingo, and are set to start family first aid classes here too.”