How it started
We initially 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.
The young people learned valuable practical skills and had the opportunity to design the space themselves. They learned how to build planters, how to prepare the soil and how to plant the seeds they chose.
How we use the space
Our outdoor project helps young people to build confidence through participation in small group activities on the allotment.
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.
Our mentors encourage children to be physically active whilst doing fun and informal projects. They can learn new skills including gardening, landscaping and carpentry and also learn about how food is grown, 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
Watch our video describing the outdoor mentoring below:
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 how they’ve grown in confidence, been responsible and proactive.”– Youth worker
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.
How to support this project
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.
Thanks to the Arnold Clark Community fund, we also run activity sessions for families at our allotment.
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 get in touch: