We spoke to Corrina Low who is involved in the community engagement on site (at Woodbank Community Food Hub): supporting volunteers, community groups, community gardeners and social prescribing projects over the year.
How has the community gardening group developed over the past year?
There are lots more people attending, the groups we have in are coming every week, whereas to begin with it was only a few people sporadically.
At least 7 or 8 people come every week now on a Monday or Thursday. There are also people who drop in on a Monday every week to cook soup together for everyone on site, we sit together at 2pm which is really nice.
People are starting to take ownership of the garden. Paul is doing a plan for the herb garden and they are looking at what it should look like. The community garden space is getting their own polytunnel so we are thinking about where it should go and how it will be laid out.
It’s been an amazing year productivity wise for the community garden, because it was such a nice summer. We still have loads of squash, and we had beans and beans and beans! and courgettes and tonnes of tomatoes and tomatilloes. Loads of winter squash, sweetcorn, loads of beetroot, loads of kohl rabi and cabbages. It was brilliant because it really encouraged everyone, it can be disheartennig if you dont see the results of lots of effort. I’m excited about what the community gardeners will achieve in 2019!
Tell us a bit about some of the groups that use the site?
The Carers coffee morning that happens once a month, has a few people attending. They didn’t know each other before and have now become good friends and they love it. They work in the polytunnel together doing seed sowing and potting.
In the summer we worked with a group called New Beginnings that works with familiies at risk of having their children removed. They ran a training programme for the parents, and they were invited to come to Woodbank with their kids to get involved with gardening, and learn about veg, including lots of tasting!
What part of your role have you particularly enjoyed this year?
I love seeing people coming together there and building their own groups, and supporting each other and how much they love coming to the garden is really nice. Everyone gets on really well.
On Monday I had to pop out and when I came back they were all having lunch together in their own little group. That was really nice and lovely. Some of them do stuff outside of woodbank together too, you can see little friendships forming. My heart is warmed quite often when im there.
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