Meet Harry Banner
The Legend of Westfield Farm
In 2013, at the age of 72, Harry started volunteering a few hours a week in the Westfield Farm gardens. He found out about Westfield Farm when a leaflet was delivered to his house, and he decided to pop in and see what it was all about. Harry spoke to Barry McBride, our Westfield Farm Co-ordinator, who gave him a grand tour of The Farm and he was amazed when he saw the gardens.
Harry visited The Farm more regularly and with all his gardening knowledge, he started passing this on to other volunteers. Harry now grows veg from seeds at home and brings them into The Farm to finish off the growing process. The veg is sold and the money is divided and donated to The Redcar Area Food Bank and a charity of Harry’s choice. Harry also grows bedding plants in our polly tunnel, with all money raised donated to various charities.
Sadly Harry’s wife passed away in January 2015, so Harry started to spend more and more time at The Farm. He joined The Friends of Westfield Farm, helping with events, selling his plants and doing a lot of baking to raise money for the group’s fund to further benefit the community.
As more and more volunteers joined The Farm, Harry ran small training courses so they could gain valuable experience in planting, growing and even cultivating small areas.
One of Harry’s other talents is making recycled Christmas cards and creating beautiful paintings of local landmarks, which he also sells to raise money.
Over the years, Harry has become well respected by the local residents and the local school. He has created a leaflet of the local history of Dormanstown [pdf] 549KB with Dormanstown Primary School, and has received a gold certificate [pdf] 167KB of achievement from Northumbria in Bloom.
Not one to stand still, Harry has just received his Food Hygiene Certificate and now plans to help out with cooking for The Farm. After his last meeting with The Friends of Westfield Farm, Harry has also decided to become an Events Co-ordinator, so he now has a list of jobs to arrange events in the upcoming months.
The Westfield Farm Garden wouldn’t be the same without Harry’s green fingers. His love for gardening can really be seen by all who visit The Farm.
Harry says “I love the friendly atmosphere of The Farm and enjoy passing on my knowledge of gardening to others, young and old. I loves the feeling of making the gardens look their best.”
Harry is a friendly, interesting man with lots of stories to tell and is a real asset to Westfield Farm.
If you would like to become a Westfield Farm Gardening Volunteer or to find out more about other volunteering opportunities head over to our Volunteering Opportunites page.