Temporary home unveiled for Hornsey Rise adventure playground ravaged by fire

Cllr Rakhia Ismail with Sunnyside Community Garden staff and users and Mulalley's Salvatore Capotost

Cllr Rakhia Ismail with Sunnyside Community Garden staff and users and Mulalley's Salvatore Capotosto (hard hat) - Credit: Archant

A garden for disabled and mentally ill people ravaged by fire is on the road to recovery after a new temporary home was unveiled on Monday.

People who use Sunnyside Community Garden, in Hazelville Road, Hornsey Rise, were left in tears after flames tore through their building in July, destroying the roof and leaving the service – which has been providing horticultural therapy since 1992 – in serious danger.

But now gardeners can keep going until the insurance money filters through after Islington Council persuaded construction company Mulalley to donate a Portakabin to the cause.

Cllr Grex Foxsmith, who made an impassioned plea to the council to help Sunnyside on the morning of the blaze, said: “I am very pleased the council has reacted so positively. This will really help the garden keep the service going until the rebuild.”

Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Islington Council’s executive member for sustainability said: “I am delighted the Sunnyside Community Gardens’ meeting place has been replaced little over a month after it was badly damaged by fire.

“I want to thank Mulalley for their generous donation which means disabled users and staff have somewhere dry, warm and safe to meet for community activities as we move into autumn and winter.”

Salvatore Capotosto, project manager for Mulalley said the company was “delighted to be able to help.”

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Activities for older and disabled people at Sunnyside include gardening and wildlife appreciation.

David Arkin, chairman of Sunnyside, said: “We wish to take this opportunity to thank Islington Council’s Greenspace Team and Mulalley for providing a seamless transition for Sunnyside Community Gardens to recover from the recent fire by providing secure hoardings and a fully serviced Portakabin.

“Without their urgent and free response the local community could have lost the opportunity to continue.”

A fundraising auction for the gardens is being held on Saturday at 4pm at The Royal Oak pub, in nearby St John’s Way.

All proceeds will go towards the new building. For more information call 020 7281 2445.