In March 2023, we approached Sandwell Council with the proposition of starting a community allotment on a piece of wasteland behind Smethwick Council House, next to Victoria Park. They generously agreed to license us a parcel of land for an initial two year period, with the option to renew annually.
With the help of a group of Volunteers from the NHS Black Country ICB, we began clearing the ground in July, '23. The first stage of the project is to establish some planters, a shed and some additional storage on the tarmac surface of the plot, and there was a lot of rogue growth to clear to prepare the plot!
In August, having secured some initial funding from the lovely team at SCVO (Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations) we will be installing a number of planters on the land and start growing! The idea is that this project will be open to our service users and the local community to come together around a green project with two primary aims.
1-To grow fresh produce to help support both our food bank and our Community Café, both of which have struggled to keep up with demand during the cost of living crisis, which has effected us all.
2-To provide a volunteering opportunity which not only brings the community together around a good cause, while encouraging local biodiversity of flora and fauna, but also provides an activity meeting the physical and mental health needs of a population quite often living in relative isolation and without regular access to green spaces.