How climate champion Tom, 6, transformed an abandoned Liverpool plot into a thriving community garden

Tom's Garden 1

Six months ago, a piece of land on the outskirts of Liverpool lay abandoned but thanks to the determination of one local boy, inspired by Laudato Si’, it has been transformed into a lively community garden. Find out how Tom did it here: 

Tom, 6, who is a pupil at Our Lady’s and St Swithin R C Primary School, first came up with the idea of creating a community garden after he attended an assembly by a CAFOD education volunteer, who explained how climate change is affecting communities around the world.

Could you spare some time to volunteer with CAFOD and help transform global communities?

So inspired with what he had learned, Tom sprang into action and with the help of his mum, proposed the idea for a community garden to Croxteth University, who kindly donated a plot of land.

Transforming a wasteland into a valuable community space 

Tom's garden 2Deciding to give up his holidays, Tom and his mum spent the whole summer planting the bulbs that had been donated and tending to the garden.

When asked about how he felt about the garden, which Tom has named the Laudato Si’ garden inspired by Pope Francis’ teachings, Tom simply replied: “I just want to look after the world.”

Learn more about how you can act to tackle the climate crisis

It was officially opened in September, and in just a few weeks, it has become incredibly popular with many people volunteering to help maintain the space.

CAFOD volunteer Justine Silcock, who was there at the opening, said: “I was thrilled to be invited to the opening, the children are so inspiring, it’s very encouraging and positive for the whole community”.

Grand plans for the future

Tom's garden 5Tom’s school now plans to renovate the space nearby the garden for picnics and run a local climate festival next summer with local musicians and artists.

His fellow students, inspired by his lead, have now set up a CAFOD club and a climate club to help make further changes both in their local community and globally.

Could be an inspiration to your local community? We have lots of opportunities to get involved with. 

And local community members have come forward to offer their services, including a local canoeist who has offered to take a group of students out on the River Mersey to help get rid of plastic.

Sandra Hamilton, RE Co-Ordinator at the school, said: “Tom’s example has shown how from seeds, gardens of hope can grow. This project is so inspiring and has helped to bring the whole community together.”

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