A lot of fun at the allotment

Over the past few months our Mansfield Street based Support Worker, Lucy, has taken groups of clients to work on Space Inclusive’s very own allotment.

Lucy has had her own allotment on the site for six years. After looking for a site to use to launch her Grow, Cook and Eat scheme STAA (St Anns Allotment Association) very kindly offered us the shared use of the nursery. Additionally, they let Space Inclusive use the site rent free for twelve months.

Because of the previous user, the site was already set up with great facilities including a shared eating space and an incredible 50ft glass house!

The wonderful thing about allotments is the knowledge and understanding of self-sufficiency that a client can get out of working on it. To be able to grow your own fruit and vegetables helps teach clients about healthy eating and gives them an appreciation of nature and the world around them.

One client, Kate, has been helping out since May. “I’ve done planting, weeding, watering, chopping hedges, composting and growing tomatoes.” she says. “It’s nice and peaceful…it helps me relax”. So, has she got the gardening bug? Yes – “I’ll definitely carry on” she says.

Kate has already had a chance to try some of the produce from the garden, which is all organic. “I’ve had cucumbers, peppers and courgettes” she says.

Lucy is delighted with how the allotment has progressed, “It’s been a great opportunity to enable clients to experience nature through growing their own produce. We’ve gone from sowing to planting out and harvesting…”

“Having the opportunity to pick from fresh organic vegetables which are prepared and cooked on site for a shared meal has been fantastic” Lucy says.

The allotment is a relatively new innovation but it’s become an indispensable part of Space Inclusive.

Flower Power

National Gardening Week (10-16 April 2017) was launched six years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and aims to become the country’s biggest celebration of gardening.

At our Pelham Road site we’ve spent many happy hours in our wonderful garden.

Over the years, we’ve seen it transformed from an overgrown jungle to a fun, colourful garden that everyone enjoys spending time in.

But don’t take our word for it, take the word of our clients:

“The garden is great. I like going out and spending in time in it when it’s hot”

“The garden is very nice. I like the shed at the back of the garden and I like the flowers in the summer”

“It’s big and large and I love the plants. I like having a barbeque there in the summer with other clients”

We’ve got loads of interesting features in the garden. One of our favourites is a pizza oven that we built for outdoor cooking!

The garden can also be a nice place for clients who enjoy peace and quiet to spend time in. It’s nice and secluded so provides a safe space for them.

At our Mansfield Street site some new plants have been put into the front borders and have really cheered it up! Passers-by have even commented on how lovely it looks.

The gardens are very good for wildlife and for all of our wellbeing. It’s great to celebrate it!