TT2 Limited, the operator of the Tyne Tunnels, has helped the East Howdon Community Association to help refurbish its community garden.

The Tyne Tunnels Community Fund, founded by TT2 in November 2016, donated £500 as part of its ongoing charity support programme.

East Howdon Community Association is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment of its facilities, to make it a more appealing place for local people to spend time. It received Lottery funding to employ someone to manage the garden, however it required new tools and equipment to allow local people to use it.

It has used the donation to refresh the planters in the garden with vegetable seedlings, and to convert the patio into a children’s play area. The produce grown in the garden, including potatoes, onions, garlic, beetroot, and parsnips, will be used by the Grow to Cook Club in its cookery courses.

TT2 Limited aims to be a good neighbour to communities on both sides of the Tyne, as well as to those in its wider customer base, and the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund is a key aspect of this. The fund, established to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the second road tunnel, strives to support local charitable and educational programmes across the region. TT2 has a strong relationship with the neighbouring community association, having previously donated £877 towards new equipment to its Grow to Cook Club.

Shaun Simmons, Business Support Officer at TT2 Limited, said: “TT2 is delighted to support the East Howdon Community Centre again. The community garden is a wonderful idea to get families to come together to play, and learn about growing fresh food. It’s an excellent initiative and we’re proud to be able to help the group.”

Leanne Brooks, leader of the East Howdon Community Garden project, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you again to the Tyne Tunnels Community Fund for supporting the East Howdon Community Garden. It is essential that areas like North Tyneside have engaging and interesting family activities available to bring the community together and to teach young people about the importance of good nutrition.

“Many houses in the area don’t have a garden, so it is our aim to create a free space for local residents to come and grow plants or food. It is a lifeline for some people, to give them an opportunity to do something out in nature, where they see real results at the end.”

East Howdon Community Centre welcomes volunteers and families who would like to join the Grow to Cook club. Contact Leanne Brooks on 0191 2623000 or visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/easthowdon/