A disused overgrown listed walled garden will be transformed into a productive enterprise by an innovative charitable partnership supported by volunteers from J.P. Morgan…

Once a hive of productivity, the walled garden at Scottish War Blinded’s Linburn Centre in Wilkieston, West Lothian has fallen into disrepair as the charity’s efforts focused on expanding their support military veterans across Scotland. In the past, the listed garden produced fruits and vegetables by and for veterans supported by the charity and was a thriving part of the local community of Kirknewton.

The charity Cyrenians, in partnership with Scottish War Blinded are to be joined by staff from J.P. Morgan, who will volunteer time over two years to transform the garden. Taking the garden from its current overgrown state, J.P. Morgan volunteers will turn it into a valuable outdoor space for military veterans, who have lost some or all of their sight and who will be able to enjoy the serenity of the green space.

The project also aims to transform the Walled Garden to a valued part of the Cyrenians network of community growers which contribute produce for sale in veg-bags. This initiative supports the Cyrenians Farm enterprise project based in nearby Kirknewton, which is also a community for young people with a background or risk of homelessness. The additional range of produce from this garden will enable the growth and development of the Cyrenians’ veg-bag scheme, which is being rolled out across Edinburgh, which, in turn, enables Cyrenians to work with the vulnerable and excluded.

Ewan Aitken, CEO of Cyrenians said: “This is a unique collaboration between the private sector and two charities coming together to create something very special. Not only will the fruits of the volunteers’ labour go towards supporting the work of Cyrenians, but the veterans at the Linburn Centre will have a beautiful growing space for relaxation and enjoying the outdoors along with the staff from J.P. Morgan.”

Richard Hellewell, Chief Executive of Scottish War Blinded and Royal Blind said: “We are delighted that we have been able to link with Cyrenians and JP Morgan on this project. The walled garden is a special space, but its size and its overgrown state meant that we have not been able to tackle the job ourselves. With the expertise of the Cyrenian staff and the hard work of J.P. Morgan’s volunteers we are now able to look forward to seeing it transformed.”

Murray Bremner, Managing Director and Market Lead for J.P. Morgan’s Edinburgh operations, said: “At J.P. Morgan we place great value on helping improve the local communities in which we operate. By helping restore and regenerate the walled garden we hope to create a unique feature to enhance the local area for everyone including vulnerable young people. It’s a fantastic project which is creating a lot of excitement amongst our employees.”