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New allotment sees growth of award-winning health project
An award-winning scheme that’s transforming neighbourhoods in Staffordshire by converting derelict plots of land into thriving community allotments has just expanded.
Volunteers, community leaders and local families turned out in force last week to officially open a new allotment in Blythe Bridge as part of the Growing Health project – led by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) in partnership with Stafford Borough Council.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, officially opened the allotment and said: “This scheme has helped to bring communities together and has provided local residents with a sense of connection as they pull together to work on their plots. Planting and growing their own crops encourages families to eat healthily whilst getting out and about in the fresh air.
“Improving urban environments helps to create an atmosphere of engagement and pride which helps local residents to take control of their own neighbourhood.”
The launch event was kindly sponsored by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, which provided stalls, games and activities whilst a team of ‘Community Champions’ from a nearby Tesco superstore were also praised for their help in clearing the site of rubbish and recycling discarded items by turning them into interesting allotment features.
Laura MacPhee, Community Involvement Officer at SARH, added: “The launch event proved a huge success, and we would like to thank everyone who rolled up their sleeves to get stuck in to turn a local eyesore into a valuable community resource.”
The opening of the allotment in Adamthwaite Drive follows the success of similar Growing Health projects in Meadow Road, Stafford, Priory Road, Stone and Brookhouse Drive, Barlaston.
The initiative was recently recognised by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) at its Central Region awards ceremony for the way SARH and Stafford Borough Council have helped members of the community improve their dietary habits, increase physical activity and spend more time with family and the community.
Pictured helping local youngsters (front) Josh Owen, Jack Owen and Brandon George on the new allotment are (back, left to right): Carol Clowes, who now tends a plot on the site; Samantha Logan, Stafford Borough Council Health Support Officer; Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive; Karen Rowley, Tesco Community Champion; Kerry Godson, Wildlife Support Team Leader from Staffordshire Wildlife; and Laura MacPhee, SARH Community Involvement Officer.