Allotment project

Allotment project

header highlighting images from the allotment including children doing art and planting

Outdoor opportunities

We set up our allotment space in 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so that we could engage safely with children and young people.

Our plot started out as an unloved piece of land, with overgrown grass and weeds. Our team mentored young people, working with them every weekend to transform the space.

image shows an allotment with tall overgrown grass
How it looked when we started

The site was cleared and together they learned how to properly protect and lay the ground, build their own planters, choose appropriate seeds and bulbs, build a polytunnel, learn how different fruits, vegetables and flowers grow, harvest their produce and make delicious meals with what they grew. They experienced the full growth cycle, whilst learning new practical skills, and building new friendships with not only other young people, but with their mentors too. 

We are seeing huge benefits both as a learning and social space, particularly in supporting some of the most disadvantaged and our outdoor project has been described as ‘gold dust’, by our partnering organisations. Watch our video describing the outdoor mentoring below:

“We’ve seen how they’ve grown in confidence, been responsible and proactive.”

– Youth worker

Our outdoor project helps young people to build confidence through participation in small group activities on the allotment. They can connect with other adults and children, keep physically active, learn new skills including gardening, landscaping, carpentry and construction, learn about how food is grown and environmental impacts, healthy eating and how to positively contribute to their community.

“I like having mentoring at the allotment because I get to learn new skills.”

– Young person
Video showcasing our space

Being in a calm and quiet environment with no stress and pressures has had a positive impact on our young people. We’ve seen an improvement in their mental well-being and our mentors have given them the tools to develop coping strategies and build their own emotional resilience. 

We’ve seen their leadership skills develop, as they introduce new creative ideas for projects they can do each weekend. Their problem solving skills have developed and some have been inspired to look into how they can use the skills they have learned on the allotment in the future and have pursued higher education. 

Thanks to those who generously donate, our allotment can continue to thrive and hundreds of children and young people have already benefitted from using the space. We’ve built an outdoor all weather proof shelter to facilitate arts, crafts and music sessions and we’ve also installed solar panels on its roof to give us power at the site. One-to-one mentoring continues to take place at the site, as well as a small group at the weekend and regular visits from children at our youth clubs, both after school and during the holidays. 

If you would like to visit our allotment, learn more about our project, find out about how we mentor children and young people or donate, please email us using the form below:

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