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With Alison Green­halgh of Ground­work South

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

Othe detri­ment of my own al­lot­ment, I am cur­rently work­ing on a new project in Houn­slow set­ting up six new com­mu­nity al­lot­ments. Funded by public health, the aim is to get 60 new grow­ers on board dur­ing the year and un­der­take re­search to un­der­stand what pos­i­tive im­pacts can be achieved from food grow­ing and work­ing to­gether on a joint al­lot­ment.

I am a firm be­liever in the role of gar­den­ing and work­ing an al­lot­ment or veg­etable gar­den in achiev­ing bet­ter men­tal and phys­i­cal well­be­ing but it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how our new grow­ers get on.

Most ap­peal­ing to me is the dif­fer­ent groups re­cruited so far and their ini­tial rea­sons for tak­ing part.

At the main site, I have a church group who run a lo­cal food bank, hop­ing to grow sub­stan­tial vol­umes of fresh veg­eta­bles for their food boxes.

Then there’s a Slim­ming World group aim­ing to grow fruit and veg­eta­bles to sup­port their weight loss goals (whilst also get­ting a bit of ex­er­cise).

The third co­hort is a pa­tient par­tic­i­pa­tion group from the near­est doc­tor’s surgery who came on board thanks to one mem­ber of staff who also be­lieves in the power of gar­den­ing.

She has driven the project and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally con­vinced the doc­tors (one of whom has her own al­lot­ment) that there could be tan­gi­ble out­comes for pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly those need­ing more so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, sup­port for de­pres­sion or be­reave­ment and

New com­mu­nity al­lot­ments are be­ing set up in Houn­slow

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