It’s National Allotments Week, a good opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of getting active outdoors and encourage communities to do the same. Our Community Investment team are collaborating with customers to promote growing and spending meaningful time outdoors and we’ve seen great results from this activity already.
Why do we encourage communities to get active outdoors in allotments and gardening projects?
- Being outside is good for mental health
- Local community projects combat social isolation that many people experience
- Growing your own produce is empowering and money-saving
- Staying active is great for physical health
Planting to support wellbeing
Our Community Development Officers are supporting local gardening initiatives in various areas across the south of England, and to celebrate National Allotments Week we thought we’d share an update on what residents have been up to.
In Windsor, a Sawyer’s Close gardening group have had lots of success growing their own vegetables. The group recently dug up a fantastic crop of lettuces, radishes and cauliflowers which they then shared out amongst the residents.
No matter the weather, this group are always keen to get outside and make their area a great one. In January they started the year with a litter pick and bulb planting event, which formed part of their eco gardening project. One resident said:
“Being part of the community is really important to me and the gardening activities help me with my confidence and anxiety. It also makes me feel useful and worthwhile as I can help other people in the garden.”
In Southampton and Gosport, we have piloted the Good Grow Club, designed to encourage planting and healthy eating. Our aim is to bring people together and improve mental and physical wellbeing. We also want the project to promote self-sufficiency and empower communities to take the lead in their area.
Whether residents have gardens, balconies or simply a windowsill, we want to demonstrate that you can see great results from seeds no matter where you plant them.
We’re also pleased to have re-launched the Mansbridge Allotment Project this year, which has yielded great results with some produce being donated to local residents. Our Community Development Officer, Jess Pardy, shares more about this project here.
Well done to all involved in getting growing! Find out more about National Allotments Week here.