Time to Grow on the community allotment at Knowle West
Published on: 27 Mar 2017
Pictured: the beautiful setting of the allotment on the Northern Slopes
This article has been contributed by Knowle West Health Association
This spring voluntary organisation Knowle West Health Association has launched a new allotment projec, Time to Grow. Funded by a grant from Tesco (using money generated by the 5p plastic bag charge), the project supports people who experience poor mental health, or who might be at risk of mental ill-health perhaps due to social isolation and loneliness.
Knowle West Health Association is based in Filwood Broadway and offers a range of projects from a community kitchen to a free counselling service that supports people's health and wellbeing. The organisation has a beautiful allotment on the Springfield allotment site, boasting a fantastic view over the Northern Slopes to Bedminster and as far as the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Community groups use the land to grow – and eat – seasonal fruit and vegetable, cultivate the herb garden and hanging baskets and rear the resident egg-laying chickens. Produce from the allotment is used in the community citchen and sold locally at a discounted price.
There are 12 ‘Time to Grow’ courses running for 6 weeks each throughout the spring, summer and sutumn. They started in March; participants meet weekly for two hours and build up their knowledge and experience of seasonal growing. During the course participants will be introduced to the site and learn how to maintain the plot. The course will explore what produce grows during the season and show participants how to grow it; developing their skills to tend, grow and harvest their own fruit and veg.
Time to Grow offers fun and rewarding activities for people experiencing, or at risk of developing, poor mental health in South Bristol. The courses provide opportunities for individuals to get outside in the fresh air and meet people, develop new skills, be involved in physical activity and enjoy the fruits of their labour. In doing so the project hopes to improve people’s mental and physical wellbeing, supporting them to manage their mental health, increase their social networks and reduce feelings of isolation. Allotment coordinator Jess has observed the impact that the allotment projects have on local residents. “We see a lot of changes in people’s personal growth and development by engaging with nature, the environment and being with others”.
For more information or to make a referral to the project, contact Jess on firstname.lastname@example.org
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