Liverpool teen plans to stop the grot in his local area and transform this plot of land
2 years ago
Like many, Khan Odita, a student at Liverpool College, was excited for the summer break. After 2 years of lockdown birthdays and 2 summers of limitations, he wanted to do something memorable with his Summer of 2021. As restrictions lifted and the nation began to be vaccinated, he inadvertently set out to create the biggest summer holiday project of his life.
The 14-year-old was disturbed by fly-tipping on a plot of land near his home. Every day new items would appear, from dirty mattresses to general waste, attracting vermin. Khan, an aspiring filmmaker with a passion for social justice, decided to make a film to discourage residents from littering. Whilst shooting, he interacted with individuals who asked what he was filming.
From conversations, it was clear the land had become a dumping site due to the community lacking pride in their area. Nobody cared about them and in turn, they didn’t care about their community. Khan soon realised that the people he had spoken to where neighbours and after residing at the same address all his life, recognised that the neighbourhood lacked interaction, which had been further exacerbated by the isolation the pandemic brought with it.
He knew his voice alone would not be strong enough to make a change, so asked his Mum’s support to create a community action group, to bring neighbours together for a common cause and he founded Mulgrave Street Action Group (MSAG), with its first project to create a Community Garden on the site used for dumping.
The Community Garden will be delivered for the community, by the community and will comprise of raised vegetable plots, alongside shrubs, flowers, and seating areas. Khan said, “The vegetables we grow will be organic and support those most in need. The community deserves a space where neighbours can interact, away from their homes and have a green space that looks nice, and a community garden makes perfect sense”.
After producing an artist’s impression of the Community Garden which you can see on the top of this article, he contacted Labour Councillor for Princes Park Ward, Lucille Harvey about the Plans, who said:
“I think it’s a great idea to build community resilience and cohesion”.
Following the uploading of the complete film on MSAG’s social media, Labour MP for Riverside, Kim Johnson, said:
“The plans look amazing and I’m very much looking forward to this coming to fruition”.
Many have stepped forward to lend their voices of support and bring the vision to life. Khan is currently fundraising to secure enough funds to create the garden. He hopes that the project will be complete by September 2021, when he returns to school and is using his summer to achieve the objectives. He urges anyone with skills and expertise to make the idea a reality, to step forward and support in whatever way they can. He’s keen to speak to local businesses that can support with fencing of the land and garden design.