New community garden in Molesey wins £1000 funding

Jan Saunders, Iris’ sister-in-law, and Jane Worsley, Deputy Chair of Crown Simmons, present Jane Pritchard from Molesey Centre (centre) with award cheque

Jan Saunders, Iris’ sister-in-law, and Jane Worsley, Deputy Chair of Crown Simmons, present Jane Pritchard from Molesey Centre (centre) with award cheque

Crown Simmons Housing is pleased to announce that the Friends of Molesey Centre are the first winners of the Iris Simmons Community Award, for their community garden in West Molesey.

Iris Simmons founded Rosemary Simmons Memorial Housing Association with her late husband, Roger, and was also a previous Mayor of Elmbridge. The donations received after her death in August 2013, together with additional funding from Elmbridge Borough Council, have created a new community fund, focusing on projects that aim to provide services for older people in Elmbridge.

The £1,000 award will help create a new accessible and dementia-friendly community garden in West Molesey which will allow a diverse range of people from the community to benefit from the space, which is currently un-used.

Paul Yates, Crown Simmons Housing’s Chief Executive said of the project, “The Iris Simmons Community award was established in memory of our housing association’s founder to continue her lifelong interest in providing support to older people living in Elmbridge. The Molesey Community Art Garden is a worthy beneficiary of this inaugural award and will provide health and social benefits for the users of the Molesey Centre for many years to come.“

Councillor Christine Elmer from Elmbridge Borough Council, who was on the judging panel, said about the award, “The Council welcomed working with Crown Simmons Housing Association to jointly launch and fund the Iris Simmons Community Award Scheme. Having been part of the judging panel we were in complete agreement with respect to the winning project, that we all felt best matched our criteria and the project would also appropriately provide a fitting tribute to the unique contribution that Iris Simmons made in the Borough.  In addition to Iris creating the housing association she was a Councillor for many years and Mayor and supported many voluntary organisations across Elmbridge.”

Jane Pritchard, the Manager at the Molesey Centre, said of receiving the funding; “We cannot express our appreciation enough, we know that many local groups will enjoy working on the garden while it is being established and then will enjoy walking, pottering around the raised beds or just sitting and chatting in the beauty that will surround them. We at Molesey Centre are very excited about the whole project.”

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