Set up in 1982 by local people near the Angel Islington, we believe it is one of the oldest community-run open spaces in the UK. After 32 years, the garden is still flourishing and attracts large numbers of people throughout the year – members, volunteers, casual visitors, young and old, from all socio-economic backgrounds and abilities.
The nuts and bolts of what we are and do:
- - We are a registered charity - number 291156
- - The garden is less than a hectare in size, but contains 65 plots for local people and groups without gardens, as well as a lawn, communal flower beds, rose arbour, pond and wildlife area. We also have a members’ Tea Hut and a resource centre which contains a meeting room, office, disabled toilet and a tool shed.
- - We are run on organic principles
- - We are open to the public seven days a week throughout the year
- - The garden is managed by a committee comprising up to 11 garden members, who are elected every year by garden members at our AGM.
- - We currently employ two part time garden workers whose role is to coordinate and support members and volunteers in caring for the communal areas of the garden and members’ plots, to organise events and activities, and to provide general admin support.
- - We work closely with a number of local organisations supporting vulnerable people. Their members make regular visits to the Garden: Elfrida Society for people with learning difficulties, Room2Heal for refugees who are affected by past traumas, Southwood Smith Centre for people with mental health issues and Stuart Low Trust for isolated people.
- - Over the years Culpeper has been recognised as a model of excellence. We have received London in Bloom awards too many times to remember! In 2014 we received the Green Pennant Award for a sustainable open space for the 5th year in succession. In 2009 we were one of the first voluntary organisations in the UK to be given PCASSO level 1 certification for good governance. In 2014 on Culpeper was safeguarded as an open space ‘in perpetuity’ though a Fields in Trust initiative to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond jubilee. This was with the full support of Islington Council who have always backed us, even if they have not been able to fund us for a good many years.
Our running costs are modest - core running costs are around £50,000 a year. For income we rely to a great extent on grants from charitable trusts. We have some generous long term funders such as Cripplegate Foundation, Tudor Trust, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and City Bridge Trust. We get additional income from member subscriptions and donations as well as events such as plant sales and the letting of our resource centre for a limited number of events.