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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, has been awarded first prize in the category of Business/Public Premises in the ‘Brent in Bloom’ competition for 2009. The Mandir’s gardens also received a Certificate of Excellence from the ‘London in Bloom’ campaign for 2009.

‘Brent in Bloom’ is an annual competition that provides an opportunity for the local community to exhibit their gardening skills and aims to make the borough more attractive for residents and visitors alike. It has seven categories with marks awarded for colour, design, quality of plants and cleanliness. The competition also acts as the first heat in the ‘In Bloom' campaign, which leads to the regional heat, ‘London in Bloom’, and then the national award, ‘Britain in Bloom’.

Judges visited entries across Greater London in July to cast their professional eye over the efforts of the communities to decide the winners in each category. The Mandir was selected as the best Business/Public Premises in Brent, and was acknowledged with a special discretionary award which is presented to community groups, local authorities, businesses, and individuals who have achieved excellence in a specific category.

Hansa H. Patel, landscape designer and manager of the small garden surrounding the Mandir, said she was “delighted” with the award and that it came “totally out of the blue”. Mrs Patel added: “It’s wonderful to be able to contribute to making Brent greener and more beautiful, and if anyone can find joy by just passing by the Mandir, then that makes all our hard work worthwhile.”

The Mandir’s garden is just one endeavour among BAPS’s commitment to work towards a greener, safer environment. Recent initiatives have included observing World Environment Day with an informative poster awareness campaign and the Go Veg… Go Green… exhibition.

This latest award also reiterates the Mandir’s positive impact for the local community. After receiving the Pride of Place award in 2007, it has also recently been voted to represent the Borough of Brent in the 2012 Olympic Games Pin Badge campaign.

The full list of winners in all the categories is published here on the Brent Council website.

For more information about the Brent in Bloom campaign, please click here.

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