Penrose Roots is an award-winning community garden in Luton. For the people who attend it helps to reduce social isolation, increase physical and emotional well-being, and develop skills that can help with finding employment,.
Root’s regular attendees include people with learning disabilities, people with physical disabilities, people who are elderly and isolated, people with mental ill health and ex-offenders. These groups comprise some of the most vulnerable in our society. For many, coming to the garden is their only time to socialise outside of their accommodation, partake in activities independently, and meet new people.
Recent times have posed a huge challenge to Roots, but not a defeat. Whilst members were unable to attend the garden, volunteers and staff worked together to bring the garden to them. During Mental Health Week, lettuces with the message ‘Lettuce be kind’ were delivered, and during Loneliness Week, a tomato plant with the message, ‘Let’s have a Ketchup’ was taken to those who were experiencing isolation. When social distancing measures were put in place, the team held socially distanced events including a cupcake day to raise awareness of Dementia, and an award ceremony celebrating Volunteers’ week.
Unfortunately due to the Covid crisis Roots has lost a lot of its funding. The garden costs around £100k a year to run and we now desperately need to find new income sources. We are applying for grant funding, trying to gain the support of local businesses, and are also turning to you to try and bring in as much as possible to ensure that we can continue to run for the rest of 2020 and beyond.
Please support us by giving generously, and take advantage of the rewards we are offering in return.
Roots refuses to be stopped by Covid-19. We will continue to fight to support the most vulnerable in Luton!