The Secret Gardeners of Southend-on-Sea

Google Maps, for some unknown reason,  doesn’t show the lovely oasis of the Cluny Gardens Allotments in Southend-on-Sea as green.  Don’t they realise that the Benedictine monks of Prittlewell Priory gardened there for 400 years until Henry VIII scattered them to the four winds?  The current King of the Cluny Gardens is Tony Wagstaff who is a Reparation and Community Practitioner with Southend’s  ISSP (Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme)…and, in ordinary language, a thoroughly nice bloke.  Since 2011 Tony has designed a garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show and won ten medals and awards.  Each year he takes a group of young people from the Early Help Family Support and Youth Offending Service and they create a memorable garden, some of which then go on to have a future life brightening up different parts of Southend.  In this podcast we hear from Tony and three of his volunteers, Rob, Curtis and Jake and from case worker, Ricardo, and social worker, Jane.