We want to run an allotment in Walsall for vulnerable families whose children have been groomed/exploited, and who are struggling with low income, feeding their families, and the intensity of social lockdown. This project will help them to become more self-sufficient through growing their own fruit/vegetables, improve their fitness/health, and educate their children about nutrition, diet, and nature. Whatever they grow they can take home. The children will learn how to prepare the ground, grow the plants from seeds and then later, harvest the fruit and vegetables.
The majority of our families are single parents on benefits and some have learning difficulties/disabilities. We will split the allotment into a vegetable garden, fruit garden, and wild meadow for bug hunts. We also want to have an outdoor room, where we can teach arts and crafts (using the produce) and monitor the growth of produce. The project will cater for all ages. Currently the youngest child is 3 years old and the oldest adult is in her 50’s. For older children we will offer carpentry skills training to create wildlife homes for birds, hedgehogs and bug hotels. Each family will have these skills for life whilst providing constructive time for their children away from the dangers of abusers, and help to rebuild communication within the family unit. We plan for the project to continue for many years and will be open to new families referred to Street Teams via our Family and Sibling project. We will measure the impact of the project through face-to-face feedback and questionnaires, looking at changes in behaviours, attitudes, and improvements in health and well-being.