A North East property lawyer is inviting local charities and community groups to survey her extensive office gardens to see if they can be used for the benefit of others.
Sue Shaw-Toomey runs her Toomey Legal practice from the historical Surveyors House in Cramlington Village which first appeared in maps of the town in the mid-1800s. The building was previously a family home, an undertaker’s home for the nearby St Nicholas Church and a quarry manager’s office.
The fact that the property was once a quarry office is still very evident as the building’s garden is built deep into the heart of the remains of the sandstone walled quarry. Extending to around 70 metres, the garden has ample space to redevelop its original vegetable plot, several lawned areas, and even a secret garden accessible only through a hidden path.
“This garden is one of Cramlington’s hidden treasures and there is history everywhere you look with the quarry walls and stonework being very prominent,” said Sue. “It is also very secluded and private and has scope for use by community groups for activities which promote wellness and good mental health.”
Sue is inviting local community groups and charities to contact her to see if she can allocate them sections of the garden for them to carry out gardening activities including creating sustainable and organic vegetable beds, flower planting and basic maintenance.
“I don’t want people to think that I am just looking for a free gardener as we already use professionals for that, but I do want to make our office garden more accessible to people who really need the benefits that gardens like this can bring such as tranquility, exercise and mindfulness,” she said.
“We are able to supply any tools needed and a nice cup of tea too but what we really want to give are the positive feelings you can get by working with nature outdoors.”
To launch the Toomey Legal Community Gardening Project, she is holding an open day in the garden for interested community parties and invited guests. The event on the afternoon of 23 September will also raise much-needed funds for a charity close to Sue’s heart and business, Oasis Community Housing which provides quality housing for vulnerable people. With Sue being in the property business, the charity’s ethos and aims fully resonate with her.
“It can be really hard to get your own place if you are suffering from a mental health condition or if you find yourself homeless due to circumstances beyond your control and I want to raise awareness of the great job this charity does in helping people who are facing homelessness.”
Originally from Leeds, Sue has had her own property law firm since 2001 and in recent years, Toomey Legal has grown substantially with ten staff including an accountant and a will writer. During the lockdown, Sue used the time to train her staff and invested heavily in gaining qualifications for her team.
To find out more about the Toomey Legal Community Gardening Project or to enquire about the open day please contact 0191 6053710 or email email@example.com