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Sponsored community gardens brought immigrants together

August 26, 2020

Tereza Andersson, Commercial Portfolio Manager at Hasselfors Garden, is responsible for the immigration project between Hasselfors Garden (a part of Kekkilä-BVB group) and the Swedish Educational Office (SV) ( an organization subsidized by the Swedish government.

Three years ago, the Swedish Educational Office, who is known for adult educations in sowing, pottery and cooking, started to also offer trainings in gardening. As a first step they approached Hasselfors Garden and Tereza asking for garden soil and expertise.

Together with Pernilla Löfquist Wedin, who is leading the project, Tereza visualized a focus for the cooperation. The main goal was to make cities in Sweden greener, neighbourhoods mainly inhabited by new Swedes or elderly people. Recent research has shown that bringing immigrants together through gardening is a good way to improve physical health and to integrate new Swedes in the society. The chosen districts have a high concentration of new Swedes and elderly people, certain areas also have a high unemployment. Bringing people together means expanding people’s network and learn from older generations.

Hasselfors Garden donates unused bags of soil

During the first year of cooperation Tereza brought unused bags of soil to the trainings, a win-win solution for all parties.
– This way we could donate our unused products not only for gardening but also for a good cause, Tereza says.

During this year, the cooperation entered a second phase and an official cooperation has been announced. The Swedish Adult Educational Office has applied for a sponsorship and Hasselfors will continue to sponsor with gardening soil and support with expertise from our highly knowledgeable product managers.
– Throughout the project, we want to bring old and young people together. We have seen how new Swedes have been given the possibility to learn about the customs and conditions in Sweden, Tereza says.

The project is a part of the initiative, Flourishing People, a part of the Kekkilä-BVB Sustainability Roadmap. Flourishing people seeks to enhance the wellbeing of our customers, partners and employees.
– We are happy to see that gardening can bring people together! Not only old and young but also new and native Swedes, a place where culture meets, Tereza says.

Please read more about our sustainability work here.

*Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan (SV) is an organization where people can take classes during the evening time, the offer is ranging from sowing, pottery, cooking to tailoring. Tereza herself has been tutoring classes in sowing, tailoring and how to make your own clothing.