Fun day celebrates successful community allotment project
A family fun day has helped celebrate the successful transformation of an area of neglected wasteland into a thriving community allotment.
A joint initiative between the community, local businesses, Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) and Stafford Borough Council (SBC), the Meadow Road Community Allotment Project in Penkside, Stafford, has united the community and provided local residents with the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing.
The award-winning site includes 10 full-size, family and community organisation allotment plots and over the past two years a series of ‘Clean Up Days’ and drop-in sessions encouraged local residents and voluntary groups to join forces in the creation of a valuable community resource.
Laura MacPhee, SARH Community Involvement Officer, explained: “Over the past 30 years the site had become a derelict wasteland, attracting fly tipping and other anti-social behaviour.
“The drop-in sessions enabled families to engage with their neighbours, SARH and SBC staff whilst involving them in a project that has since won two of the council’s Green Awards, including the Aspiring for the Future category in 2012 and the Public Sector category in 2013.
“The project was also shortlisted for an award in the Tenant Participatory Advisory Service category, Excellence in the Community in 2013.
To mark the success of the project, the fun day last Saturday (August 2) was attended by Mayor of Stafford, Ray Sutherland and featured a range of activities for all the family, including arts and crafts, face painting, games and competitions. Free refreshments were also provided for the scores of residents who took part.
Karen Armitage SARH Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted to be involved in this project that has brought together a broad range of community groups and local residents to transform what was a local eyesore into a valuable resource for current and future generations to enjoy.
“At the same time it has given many people an opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing whilst enjoying real sense of achievement.”