Forfutures allotment group

Forfutures customers had planted their tomato seedlings to grow on windowsills and other vegetable delights were sprouting in trays when the pandemic hit, closing the forfutures allotment.

The allotment is a lifeline for those that enjoy spending a few hours outdoors planting or weeding. Forfutures staff kept in touch with members of the group during lockdown via telephone calls but as soon as restrictions eased the volunteers couldn’t wait to start back. The unusually warm weather meant the site was overgrown but thanks to the hard work of the group the allotment started to look neat and tidy ready for planting.

Fast forward 12 months and despite Covid’s best attempts at thwarting our community growning space, 2021 has been an excellent year. The produce we’ve grown has been used but the customer group and also benefitted local charities who supply food to the homeless and those living in temporary accommodation.

One member of the group Connor explained that he’d learnt so much. When he first joined he thought potatotes grew on trees, but he now knows how to plant them and importantly when they are ready to harvest. He also researched different recipes and used some of the produce to rustle up something tasty to eat.

Groups such as the forfutures allotment are vital to improve skills and boost confidence. Connor has said he’s increased his communication skills too, he will now let staff know if he’s running late or if he has an appointment which clashes with the group, something he wouldn’t have done previously.

He has taken the volunteering very seriously and has supported other customers who are in temporary accommodation telling them about the support at Forfutures and how he’s now in his own place as a result of accepting the help on offer.

Dan uses the allotment as a diversionary activity from risk taking behaviour. He has been coming on and off for a couple of years however for the past 5 months he has attended regularly. The session has been part of a catalyst to abstaining from using alcohol during this period. Dan also attends other forfutures and community activities and is volunteering weekly at a local community hub helping with food distribution, something that was very sporadic previously.

Dan has grown in confidence and focus and now reflects where things have gone wrong turning his attention to the positive direction his life is now heading. Dan has used his new skills to help turn around gardens of two dispersed properties, benefitting the customers moving in.

The allotment group has really helped make more things possible for more people. We are sure the group will continue to thrive in the future and we hope both Connor and Dan will continue to enjoy many benefits through taking part and inspire others to join too.

We are always looking for a range of activities that customers can get involved with. If you can offer any support, please email danny.sadler@forfutures.co.uk.

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