— YMCA Allotment
YMCA North Tyneside allotment
Our allotment has been a project run by our housing department and worked on by our residents as well as members of the community. The allotment itself has brought people together and helped educate young people, giving them new skills, knowledge and a sense of acheivement.
healthy habits at the heart of everything we do.
— The Challenge
Challenge & Solution
Learning about the environment, the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the importance of sustainability is key to helping young people create and maintain healthy habits.
This project has given young people new skills, knowledge and has succeeded in showing another fun way to stay active outdoors.
The allotment was donated to us by a board member about 4 1/2 years ago. It is a large plot and has provided a nice link to the community.
We became part of a national campaign through Bright Futures. Our part was called Fruitful communities. The initiative was to grow fruit trees and develop an orchard to help young people to learn about sustainability.
We received a grant and bought 25 fruit trees. We have developed the area with the help of several residents. This has been a 3 year project. We entered a competition to showcase the work we have done. We came 2nd! This brought in more money and we used this to take residents to Liverpool to celebrate the achievements of all the projects involved.
We developed a volunteer system where we worked with Virgin money, Warburtons and Accenture. This involved the staff using their volunteer days to come and help out. We used the local council to donate chippings, soil etc.
This was a great team effort and helped give the residents feel their self worth due to others investing in them. It also involved the wider community and gave them the chance to take part.
We use the produce in the cafe so our carbon footprint is in equity.
The residents have chosen areas in the allotment to have as their own and planted stones or letters to use as a memorial area. We have had many young people helping and taking part. Over the last 3 years, more than 40 young people have been involved. Many who moved on and are still helping out.
The Fruitful Communities project gave us a dedicated worker to support us and teach us all about trees and the outdoors. Residents have loved it and gained a lot from the work. They have increased confidence and awareness. They are more conscious of recycling and the impact they can make in the world.