Brixton firefighters have worked with local environment groups to create a “mindfulness garden” on the rooftop of their fire station on Gresham Road – giving firefighters a space to unwind, reflect and relax.
The project brought local community groups together to help build the garden.
They include a beekeepers group from Kennington Park who provided bee-friendly plants to attract bees.
Firefighters used discarded wooden pallets to build a bee hive and garden furniture.
London Fire Brigade’s “green champion” Simon Jakeman helped to creating the space and donated his award-winning garden – Hoses, Rakes and Ladders – from this year’s Hampton Court flower show.
Brixton green watch manager Mat Rosendale, who is also a blue light champion at the brigade, oversaw the project.
Blue light champions are volunteers who promote awareness of mental health in the emergency services through a scheme funded by national government and run by the mental health charity MIND.
Mat says the garden has produced a fantastic result: “Before 1995, the space was an unused grey flat roof over the office.
“Firefighters then started to cultivate pot plants to brighten up the area. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength, with green watch building a pond in 2012 to commemorate the Queen’s diamond jubilee.
“This brand-new mindfulness garden is the culmination of lots of hard work and effort.
“It has been a great focus on the station and brought all four watches together in a really positive way.
“Green spaces have a long-lasting positive impact on people’s mental well-being and I’m proud that we can now offer firefighters a place to come to relax and unwind.”
The firefighters of Brixton red watch worked at the Grenfell Tower fire disaster for more than 12 hours and later raised funds for victims and survivors by doing the Three Peaks challenge. They are nearly at their target of £25,000 and you can donate here.