Local tradies chip in to help

Local tradies chip in to help

Kelmscott Community Garden Inc founder Joanne Harris alongside treasurer Liz Bussell.

With construction having slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of local tradespeople have picked up their tools to help not-for-profit organisations across Perth’s south-east. 

Welshpool mining consultancy company Minprovise has lent its staff to a number of community projects, including Kelmscott’s very own Community Garden. 

Over just three days last week, builders managed to construct a veranda around the committee’s shed, a project chair Joanne Harris said the committee had been imagining for several years. 

“Minprovise agreed to donate a portion of their materials and all of their labour for nothing,” she said. 

“This would have taken us ages and we would have had to host a busy bee to get it done.

“To have it up in three days and at so little cost is just incredible and it has put us months ahead.

“It’s great because it’ll provide shelter throughout the year and we’ll be able to use it as a work space, particularly for our workshop. 

“It was a huge win for us and we’re really grateful. 

“We also had help from Rob Whitney from Old Macdonald’s Farm to supervise, because he’s also a builder by trade affected by the shut down.

“It’s also just nice to know that there are companies out there doing this sort of work and that appreciate what the non-for-profits are doing.” 

The project, spearheaded by Mrs Harris, saw the committee acquire the 1400 square-metre plot of land on River Road in July 2017. 

In the last three years the committee has attracted more than 50 members and countless visitors. 

Mrs Harris said she instigated the project with the intention of reconnecting with community and had been heartened by its success. 

“It was about teaching people more about local produce, sustainability, recycling, organic gardening, but also creating a space for the community,” she said. 

“Our constitutional rules are based around community growth and raising awareness of sustainable practices. 

“It was really important to us that we created a space that was all-inclusive. 

“I guess we always hoped that it would be successful and that we’d attract likeminded people. 

“But it has been heartening to see that, despite very little advertising, the community has been naturally drawn to it. 

“The positive feedback has been great, too. 

“I think that the residents appreciate that something like this is happening in their community. 

“It’s certainly not something that has happened overnight – it has involved a lot of work.” 

In the future, Mrs Harris said she hoped the committee would be able to arrange markets and workshops on sustainable living.