WE WANT TO TURN THIS:
Our aim is to create a therapeutic natural environment which will benefit all local people including children, parents, the elderly and those living with physical, learning and sensory disabilities and mental health problems, as well as providing an opportunity to learn new skills.
Those in the surrounding area will benefit from an improved natural environment that can be utilised productively to grow, produce and bring the community together. The allotment will be enjoyed by school children through an invitation to be involved, and families, providing a natural learning environment. The allotment will produce home grown fruit, vegetables and herbs and will attract and encourage bio-diversity providing a suitable habitat for wildlife such as insects, birds and small animals.
We will provide transport for groups of up to five service users to visit the allotment on four days each week. We will train and manage a team of four volunteers to assist service users in two-hour learning and therapeutic gardening sessions. Opportunities will be offered to people who live in local residential settings, those we support in their own homes and local schools.
We know that many of our service users experience or are at risk through loneliness and social isolation. This project will bring people together across age ranges to connect with others and with nature with a sense of common purpose. In addition to being out of the house and engaged in positive social interaction there are physical and mental health benefits for those who attend. Time spent physically active in the fresh air helps to keep users fit and healthy while the therapeutic benefits of nature have been proved to be beneficial to mental health, promoting feelings of calm and control as well as hope for the future.
We expect the allotment to officially launch in spring 2019 and that within the first six months a minimum of 50 service users and 6 volunteers will have benefited. The project will offer sessional hours to an experienced worker, who will oversee the project and coordinate regular feedback to ensure the project is fully utilised and is enhancing the quality of life for people across the community. There will be access and facilities for those with disabilities, a composting toilet and garden shed to provide cover in poor weather with electricity from solar panels. Once operational the project will be low cost and sustainable for future generations to enjoy.
The community allotment would grow a variety of fruit/vegetables/plants/flowers which would be used in a number of ways. As well as those involved in the project benefitting, food from this project will be offered to support the foodbank and Welcome Cafes.