Lafarge backed garden project gets community growing
- 23 October 2010
- Company & Industry News
A COMMUNITY allotment project, backed by building materials company, Lafarge, has been hailed a huge success.
Organisers of Growing Space, an initiative to put the ‘garden back in Welwyn Garden City' say the 14 allotments have inspired and motivated dozens of young learners, teaching them about gardening, fruit and vegetables, nutrition and cooking.
Now they hope the allotments, at the back of The Free Church, in Church Road, Welwyn, can be opened up to engage the local community too.
Clare Tyler, centre manager at YMCA Training, one of the partner agencies in the scheme, said they were looking to find funding for a project co-ordinator who would oversee public participation in the urban garden.
"Our young learners have got so much out of the allotments we would like to broaden the experience to the community but we need to make sure it is properly managed.
"At the moment our young learners and members of the church go down. Our young learners have been working on the allotments since the spring and they have been doing a fantastic job.
"We have a whole range of fruit and veg being grown, from strawberries and radishes to beetroots and onions.
"Some of our youngsters may never have got the chance to do any gardening and some may never have even eaten or cooked varieties of fresh vegetables before.
"Some did not even realise that carrots came from the ground.
"Now they are growing veg and cooking them, learning all about nature, food and good nutrition.
"One of the boys told me he had grown a carrot, pulled it out of the ground, washed it and eaten it and he said it was one of the best things he had tasted.
"These days children are so removed from nature and where their food comes from so it is fantastic to get our young learners out in the fresh air working with food."
The project, which also involves The Free Church and YMCA Central Herts, was backed by generous donations of money and materials.
Handside ward councillors, Helen Bromley, Tony Skottowe and Fiona Thomson, gave £900 as part of their Community Chest handouts.
Building materials company Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK donated five tonnes of sand and five tonnes of gravel for pathways, block paving and foundations for a shed.
"We are grateful to all our supporters, including Lafarge whose donation made a huge difference and ensured we were able to put up our shed and use the site safely and effectively."
Mike Pendock, Regional Planning and Estates Manager for Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, said: "
"We are delighted to have helped make this community garden possible. It is wonderful that so many young people are learning important skills and gaining a new insight into the natural world.
"And it is a fantastic opportunity to engage the wider public."