Community Allotment Project

Community Fun sowing the seeds!

An innovative fun day volunteering at a local community allotment project was held at Vigo Road in April 2017. The allotment project was the brainchild of Nick Goodenough, a recovery worker at Inclusion Recovery Andover Hub, after they managed to obtain the plot at Vigo Road. It is now in its second year of running, the first year was really just tidying up and carrying on with a basic growing plan on a minimal budget with volunteers from workers and service users at Inclusion as a therapeutic activity of the Inclusion programme. As this was proving to be successful and beneficial to a handful of service users, Nick felt that the project was in need of a structured plan with some funding from the local community.

By chance at the end of 2016, the Volunteers at Inclusion were nominated for a Team award at the Test Valley Community Services Volunteer Awards in November, to which they duly attended, and were runners up in that category. It was after the awards that Nick was introduced by Christianne Ireland, the Business & Volunteer Coordinator @ TVCS, to Debbie Clark from Simply Health in Andover, as Christianne felt passionate about the work Inclusion did in the community supporting people in their recovery from addiction issues. As a result of the introduction Nick was able to obtain a donation from Simply Health in order to progress the project to the next stage of restructuring the allotment so as to provide easily maintained raised beds.

The launch of this stage was organised by Nick, and Karen Ringwald the Inclusion Volunteer coordinator with a BBQ after the Volunteers from both Inclusion and Simply Health had a fun time creating and building the beds. This just goes to show how the links in the community can come together and create a meaningful and worthy project that is benefitting the wellbeing of service users and volunteers and will do for years to come.

With thanks to Christianna, ARC Volunteer, for this contribution.