Community Action Flash Mob

Young people create a secret garden for care centre residents

This week Envision Grads from across Birmingham teamed up to create a colourful secret garden for the Apna Ghar day care centre in Balsall Heath.

The students are part of Truth about Youth being run by Envision in partnership with The Co-operative Foundation and the Community Action Flash Mob is just one of many initatives being delivered by young people across the city.


The aim of the flash mobs is to mobilise Birmingham's young people to carry out an action that brings benefit to a community in the city.

When the team heard about the financial struggles faced by community centres across the city, they decided to make this the focus of their first flash mob.

With this is mind, they made contact with Apna Ghar, an Asian day care centre in Balsall Heath that provides services to the elderly residents in the community. After consulting with staff and service-users the team offered to completely revamp their garden – planting vegetable plots to be used in the centre’s kitchen, painting the walls in the theme of the four seasons and creating flower beds to add colour and variety.

It is amazing to be part of a project where we can see the visible difference we’ve made in one day. I think it is very important that young people see the benefits of giving something back by helping in their communities and actually realise that this can be a lot of fun!

Isobel, 17, Envision Grad (in charge of spray-painting duties!)

Joined by a gardening expert from BITA Pathways, an organisation that seeks to promote a better understanding of mental health issues in the city, and enjoying a lunch with the centre’s service users, it was a day that brought together several strands of Birmingham’s diverse community. 

During lunch, young and old exchanged stories and chatted openly about their experiences in Birmingham and other parts of the world.