Forty volunteers and several supporters of a gardening society came together to celebrate the third anniversary since launching.

GROW Community Garden in Loughton formed in 2016 to create a place to grow organic fruit and vegetables and maintain a gardening space.

Loughton Town Mayor, Cllr Stella Murphy, attended the event to enjoy a celebratory lunch and present certificates to those who have made exceptional contributions.

Students from Oak View School, volunteers and users from ECL Loughton Wellbeing Hub were just one of many to be given the awards.

Heidi Chow, co-ordinator at GROW Community Garden, said: “We’ve had an amazing three years.

“We have brought people together from across the community to transform this space which was once derelict and covered in brambles and litter into an inclusive community garden.

“This past year we’ve had over 300 people from the community volunteer, visit or attend our events.

“We have a brilliant team of volunteers who are incredibly committed and passionate about making a difference in the local community and together we have created a friendly and supportive space to grow vegetables where everyone is valued.

“We hope that we can attract even more people from the local area to visit or volunteer with us.”

The space has been transformed into an inclusive community garden with a sensory garden area polytunnel with sheltered meeting space, workshop and growing areas.

GROW Community Garden opens on Saturdays and Wednesdays every week, welcoming people of any skill in gardening.