By Janette Searle - February 2, 2017
Neighbours Day First Neighbourhood Champion – Kate the Gardener
When Kate the gardener moved from her close knit community on the far side of Wellington Harbour, to the central city ‘burbs of Auckland, she was thrown into the unknown. A new community for her and her family, and a new role for her husband, which gave Kate more time to focus on her passion, gardens. Clearly not one to sit around pondering, in less than three months Kate has turned a quiet request on the Neighbourly website into a booming gardening business that is split between commercial jobs and community volunteer projects, and is growing by the week.
(Pictured: Paul Harris of Paul Harris Art and Design, and Kate the Gardener)
One of those projects was the garden of Janice. While Janice is a keen gardener herself, her health and frequent stays in hospital meant her garden oasis began looking more like the dense jungle of Borneo, and this was making her feel sad. Thanks to Kate, who wrangled a raft of volunteers, including some local school children, the garden has undergone a new lease on life, and is looking fantastic.
Now when Janice gets home she can go out into the garden and see what’s been planted, water the garden, and be part of the process. The neighbours have started coming around to see what’s new, and in her words she’s said ‘it’s been amazing for her health and her recovery, and she’s really positive about the future with it.’
Janice found the best way to say thank you. She nominated Kate for the Neighbours Day Champion and sent in the story and photos of her garden. This also put Kate in the running for a pohutukawa necklace from Paul Harris Art and Design. It was the perfect thank you gift. Paul says it wasn’t a hard choice for him to make when he chose Kate as the Neighbourhood Champion for January. “The pohutakawa design to me means suburbs and neighbourliness, and for me Kate’s work in the gardens, I thought, was a perfect fit.”
Kate’s plans are to grow what she’s doing with her community work. She looking for volunteers who have a passion for gardening and some spare time to donate to the gardening projects around the Mt Albert community. She’s inspired by the people that share her motivation of wanting to make a difference to people, and also provide a point of connection for neighbours and people in the community.
If you are interested in getting involved email us at Kiaora@neighboursday.org.nz and we’ll put you in touch with Kate.
For more information about Neighbours Day and our Neighbourhood Champions email Kiaora@neighboursday.org.nz or phone Janette on 0274334978.