A group of volunteers were joined by the Loughton town mayor to celebrate the sixth anniversary of a community garden.

The GROW Community Garden is an inclusive food-growing project, which brings people together in a supportive and safe outdoor space to grow fruit and vegetables.

Customers from ECL Loughton Day Centre for adults with learning disabilities volunteer weekly at the garden alongside pupils from Oakview School and residents.

The hard work and dedication of these volunteers was recognised at the annual volunteer appreciation lunch where they were presented with thank you certificates by special guest the Mayor of Loughton, Councillor Barbara Cohen.

Cllr Cohen said: "It was wonderful to be able to give out certificates to such a great group of volunteers. It was nice to see first-hand how rewarding working in the garden is for all involved.

“The GROW Community Garden is a fantastic initiative and it I enjoyed being a part of the volunteer appreciation celebrations. Thank you to Matt Chow at Restore Community for inviting myself and Cllr Sebastian Fontenelle to be a part of this special day.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

Councillor David Wixley and Councillor Stephen Murray also attended the celebration which included a delicious picnic lunch that was kindly donated by Morrisons.

The group welcomes people of any age, background, or ability and holds volunteer days twice a week for people from across the community.

The project is run by Restore Community and is funded by Loughton Town Council, Epping Forest District Council and Essex County Council.