Digging in to tackle loneliness in Alcester

Mayor of Alcester Andrew Foster, left, launched the community allotment scheme in Bleachfield Street with Wendy Sherwood, health and wellbeing coordinator for Alcester Town Council. They were pictured along with scheme members and volunteers including Steve Keeling, convener of Alcester Allotment Association. Mark Williamson A43/9/18/6957

GROWING their own is bringing people together and tackling loneliness, thanks to a new allotment project in Alcester.

The town council is encouraging people of all ages to grow their own fruit and veg and make friends, with raised beds and a community area available for nurturing.

Three of the six raised beds have been snapped up, leaving three more for individuals to take on.

The community area is for joint or group projects and is available on various days for people to get together and work on their own ideas, like growing soft fruit, building a pond or any other way they’d like to get involved.

The council’s Health and Wellbeing Coordinator Wendy Sherwood said the council wanted to get people of any age involved in growing their own healthy fruit and veg, as well as meeting people, having a cup of tea and enjoying the social side of an allotment, particularly for those who would find a whole plot too difficult to manage.

She added: “The town council hopes to attract people who may be vulnerable members of our community, such as the elderly, people with dementia and those suffering with mental health issues. We wish to encourage all members of the community and encourage people to grow in an organic and sustainable way to try and create and protect wildlife, avoiding waste of natural resources and the use of pesticides, look after the soil and maintain diversity.”

The project is free to participate in and has been funded partly by town charity Church Street Property, which gave £1,000 and the town council, which put £380 into the pot initially and more could be in the pipeline.