Spreading a touch of sunshine across Knowle West

Main image: One of the sunflowers Mike grew for his neighbours’ children.

By Knowle West Alliance Community Development Worker Frances Coates 

When pensioner Mike asked Knowle West Support Hub for seeds to grow a few sunflowers – he had no idea he would be spreading sunshine across the area.

Mike, a local resident, came through the Hub in April lockdown, at first needing some shopping. 

But he also had another request – to grow sunflowers for some neighbours’ children.  

Local volunteers donated sunflower seeds, pots and compost and delivered them to him – but rather more than he was expecting.  

The result was an excess of seedlings and Mike asked the Hub if they could find homes for them all.   

After putting a callout on Knowle West Alliance’s Facebook page – Hannah, the volunteer who had been helping him with shopping, delivered the seedlings to ten people on the estate. 

These included Claire from Ilminster Avenue school for their ‘Thrive’ garden area and Paul Coyne from Youth Moves.

Paul Coyne from Youth Moves who received some sunflower seedlings during lockdown.

Paul said: “I was given some sunflowers going into lockdown with the idea of planting them at Christ the King school.  Unfortunately, lockdown’s grip tightened, so I thought this was a waste.   

“As I work at Youth Moves and we could still do one-to-one working, we planted them at our Roundhouse site at Springfield Allotment.   

“Here they flourished and brought joy to people’s faces as lockdown eased during the summer.  They brought more joy to the young people we work with as we could do groups outside…”  

The sunflowers that grew at the Roundhouse on Springfield Allotments from Mike’s seedlings.

Knowle West Alliance would like to send good wishes to Mike who is currently ill in hospital. Get well soon.