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Sustainable communities

HSBC Growing Communities

Garden Organic worked in partnership with HSBC UK at their new headquarters in Centenary Square, Birmingham to design roof terraces and work with staff to maintain them.
HSBC garden for growing spaces project
We designed one food growing and one ornamental garden and trained Growing Champions to support ongoing maintenance of the gardens.

The Growing Communities Project

In 2019, we were commissioned to design two roof terraces for the new building; one food growing and one ornamental. Over the course of a year, Garden Organic worked with HSBC staff to demonstrate how to care for their new roof gardens the organic way, and how to involve and inspire their colleagues to participate in more gardening activities at home and at work.

Training and recruiting Growing Champions

Garden Organic trained a core group of enthusiastic staff to take on the role of Growing Champions. These individuals then volunteered their time to learn the skills to maintain the roof terrace gardens and motivate and engage their fellow employees to participate in growing activities within the workplace.

Ongoing support

All employees were invited to join the weekly expert gardening sessions, delivered by Garden Organic trainers.

As confidence grew, Growing Champions were encouraged to run their own practical gardening drop-in sessions, supported by Garden Organic, if desired.

The project aimed for Growing Champions to lead a gardening club and put into practice what they have learned as they take responsibility for the two terrace gardens

Staff were supported by Garden Organic with specialist training such as compost making, seed saving, and more practical skills such as growing for nature.

Participant feedback

I have really enjoyed these sessions. It has given me lots of information and inspiration for my garden.

— HSBC Growing Communities participant

I found the wildlife section most enjoyable as that is my main interest alongside fruit and veg. I wouldn’t change anything. It has been brilliant, Thank you.

— HSBC Growing Communities participant