Neighbours unite to transform alleyway into shared garden

Their own little slice of paradise: Neighbours unite to transform overgrown alleyway where residents used to dump their bins into shared garden with bunting, planters and a children’s toy chest

  • Neighbours in Liverpool came together to transform an alleyway behind their street into a community space 
  • Project began when pipe fitter Sean McCarthy created bench from a wooden palate and put it in the alleyway
  • Now the area has been reinvigorated with colourful benches, bunting, fairy lights and children’s toy chest 

A group of neighbours have pulled together to transform their dull and depressing back alley into a beautiful shared garden complete with bunting, planters and a children’s toy chest.

It used to be a place where the residents of Brabant Road, in Liverpool, Merseyside, would simply dump their bins – but now the street gathers there to sunbathe or share celebrations such as the Bonfire Night fireworks.

The project was started by pipe fitter, Sean McCarthy, 54, when he started placing upcycled wooden pallet benches and hand-painted colourful planters in the alleyway over lockdown in a bid to cheer the street up.


A group of neighbours have pulled together to transform their dull and depressing back alley into a shared garden complete with bunting, planters and a children’s toy chest. Pictured: the alleyway before (left) and after (right) it was transformed

The alleyway in Merseyside used to be a place where the residents would just dump their bins – but now the street gathers

Neighbours have used old pallates to create benches and have hung bunting and fairy lights to brighten it up at night time

He said: ‘It was a dull place before, it was just a place where we put our bins out, there was nothing there, just a few overgrown bits of weeds.

‘Over lockdown I wanted to cheer the place up a bit and give some of our older a neighbours a reason to come outside, in a space they could enjoy and still feel safe while having a chat.

‘The whole project grew organically really, from benches and planters to a fun community space.

‘As soon as I put the first bench out there, people were asking me if I could create their own benches for them.

‘It was a simple thing but it got people talking and even got me chatting with people on the street I’d never spoken to before.

‘It’s got the whole community socialising.’


The project was started by pipe fitter, Sean McCarthy when he started placing wooden pallet benches and hand-painted colourful planters in the alleyway over lockdown in a bid to cheer the street up and now the neighbours enjoy it together

Mr McCarthy says when he put his bench out others asked him if he could create benches for them and the project began


As the project developed Sean was helped by many other neighbours to transform the space into a community space

As the project developed Sean was helped by many other neighbours to transform the space which now also boasts colourful bunting and a shared children’s toy chest.

Fellow neighbour, Jane Parker, 52, a NHS nurse, has even potted a small allotment where she grows a range of vegetables for her own kitchen, sharing the excess with the street and teaching children where food comes from.

She said: ‘My favourite part of the project is that it’s brought the community together, throughout a difficult time.

‘It means that we’ve all had a little bit of interaction, even our elderly neighbours who wouldn’t have had much otherwise.’

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