Hundreds of people gathered from across the East London and further afield (Manchester, Liverpool and Winnipeg to name a few!) to celebrate the hard work of our New Hanbury Project students on Sunday 14 June.

Volunteers, residents, students, trainees, and former and current staff from the past 50 years of SCT attended the Bard’s Yard. We held the summer garden party to launch the new Shakespeare-themed garden planted by our fantastic gardening students.
“Sunday was fantastic.  It was great to be able to give something back and not just to take.  
I never dreamed I would perform in a choir; it’s given me so much confidence.  I used to isolate but now I spend time with people.” New Hanbury Project choir student.

We were joined by renowned Shakespeare actor, Timothy West, and his partner Prunella Scales, fabulous Pearly Kings and Queens from Bow, Highgate, Newham and Mile End, the Baroness of Spitalfields, Molly Meacher and a Sheriff from the City of London, Fiona Adler.

As Timothy cut the ribbon to launch the event, the sun began to shine and stayed with us off and on for the rest of the afternoon. 

Congratulations to Sheila Jefferson – a former SCT charity shop staff member no less – for winning the garden naming competition with “The Garden of Time”. The judges chose this name as it referenced the rich history of the space and the healing role of time for people in recovery. A sign bearing this name will soon be erected in the gardens.

A big thanks to dozens of people from the ‘SCT family’ who made this a hugely special and successful day. A particular thanks to:

• Janis Wales, our gardening tutor who has done a great job with our students and the garden

• Our New Hanbury Project staff and students – especially the gardening students!

Tossed  for their generous snack freebies

Fentimans for the kind donation of tasty soft drinks

Open Table and SKANSKA for their fabulous colleagues who volunteered with us on the day

• Pauline for the amazing ‘50’ cake!

Virginia Primary School and Christ Church Spitalfields for lending their tables

Cordwainers Grow for their fantastic willow garland activity 

St. Hilda’s East Community Centre for their fab fresh produce

Kew Gardens Grow Wild project for funding this work and the fantastic beach hut!

• The following businesses for their kind prize donations: Stringray Globe; Rochelle Canteen; The Fox; Burrito Mama; Tossed; Union Roast; Cowling & Wilcox, and Andina.

St. Leonard’s Church gardens Shoreditch for their support.

Support our work with the homeless by taking part in #FlipFlopFriday on 26 June

Find out how we’re celebrating 50 years of helping people to recover from addictions and homelessness