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Asylum Seeker volunteers use their gardening skills

Our Action Asylum volunteers have been busy this summer!

To give a snapshot, we wanted to share an update from one of our long-term collaborations in the city – the lovely Southsea Green Community Garden – based next to Canoe Lake. (Instagram

Our volunteers have become an important part of this garden and community, regularly supporting the space since last autumn and this summer we have been busy getting the garden shipshape again for 2023 and beyond.

Over the last six weeks, 11 of our awesome asylum seeker volunteers have worked together with 8 wonderful long-term #Pompey residents like @surfing_the_sea_of_life, volunteering together to rack up a combined total of 99 hours of work, nurturing the green space, our garden community.

Together we have watered and weeded, sawn and hammered, varnished and painted, repaired and tidied.


Building new raised beds, repairing our cabin – in need of TLC – and generally sprucing up the whole garden and furniture with a groovy paint job.

John Ashlin, project lead for Action Asylum said “Our 11 volunteers have arrived in Portsmouth fleeing conflict and strife in countries you will see in the news on any given day – from East Africa to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and beyond – yet with our new mates from Pompey, we work each week together, to make this green space by the sea, that little bit more special for everyone to enjoy.”

Sue Stokes at Southsea Green said “I am loving the colours I’m seeing everywhere and the spirit is warm running through everything I read now which I love!”

Action Asylum is a national initiative supported by @tnlcommunityfund and housed in Portsmouth by our terrific local partner @portsmouthcityofsanctuary.

Action Asylum’s mission is to ‘Connect asylum seekers with local communities, volunteering together to improve their neighbourhood and the environment’. Click Action Asylum to learn more.