There is a new bench in the Willoughby Community Garden – a Belonging Bench. The Belonging Bench was created specifically for the Willoughby Community Garden by a group of grade 6 and 7 students at Surrey Christian School. The project was born out of conversations the students were having about how to be a more welcoming community. Through their research, the students discovered that benches can become places of welcome and hospitality.
Lauren, who was part of the group that designed and built the bench, (she also attends Willoughby Church) had heard of the need for benches in the garden so that the gardeners and visitors to the garden could rest and visit with one another. The students approached the Community Garden committee to learn more about the garden and the vision for it to be a place of welcome and hospitality. “The church wanted the garden to be inviting to everyone”, observed Lauren, “not just the gardeners. We chose this design for the Belonging Bench because we believe it meets that expectation and we hope it will create a sense of belonging in their community.”