East Lothian charity creates garden in memory of founder

The team gets to work on the community garden, created in memory of Dadswork founder David Drysdale, pictured right with his son Manow. Picture: Chris Watt
The team gets to work on the community garden, created in memory of Dadswork founder David Drysdale, pictured right with his son Manow. Picture: Chris Watt
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A LEADING housebuilder has teamed up with an East Lothian charity to create a community garden in memory of one of its founders.

The David Drysdale Community Garden will create an outdoor space for the families of charity Dadswork thanks to a donation of building materials from Taylor Wimpey East Scotland.

“Our aim with this project is to increase confidence and self-esteem”

KEVIN YOUNG

The garden is set to open a year after Mr Drysdale’s tragic passing following a battle against a rare form of cancer and will allow fathers and male care givers the space to socialise with other families and learn new skills.

Families will be able to grow fruit and vegetables and cook on-site with its newly-built pizza oven, BBQ and cooking stove when the garden officially opens in Almond Park, Musselburgh, on June 30.

Kevin Young, project manager for Dadswork, thanked Taylor Wimpey for the 
support and revealed the project was already having a “positive impact.”

He said: “Having the community garden offers the dads and children that we work with access to a space which they don’t have at home.

“Our aim with this project is to increase confidence and self-esteem and reduce the isolation that many dads that we work with can feel.

“Our families have been very active in the development of this garden, and we’re all incredibly proud of what’s been achieved.

“Most importantly we can see the positive impact the community garden is having and we thank Taylor Wimpey for their important donation which essentially got us started right at the start of the project which began over a year ago.

“We’re now focusing on growing, cultivating and maintaining the garden generally and looking forward to enjoying the fruits of our labour.”

Mr Drysdale became a hugely influential figure in Scottish charity after setting up the Fathers Network in 2008 due to what he called “bias” towards male carers. The charity grew to become a widely respected, gender–balanced organisation with its own research base funded by the Scottish Government.

However, he contracted the rare and aggressive ‘Ewing’s Sarcoma’ in 2015 and despite initially being cleared of the disease, passed away last July aged just 50.

Following his tragic passing, family friends paid tribute to the “warm, friendly and approachable” father-of-two, while deputy first minister John Swinney said Mr Drysdale left a “tremendous legacy”.

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey said: “We were delighted to be able to help with this unique request from Dadswork to give their community garden a real boost.

“Clearly the community garden will have a long and positive impact for the families using it, and we wish them every success with this project and hope it continues to 
grow.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com