Describe your project
Maiden Newton Allotments Association is a thriving and active village organisation that was originally set up ten years ago to restore and maintain an almost derelict site. One of our first projects was to install a number of raised beds for the use of disabled and elderly residents. Unfortunately, these wooden beds have now rotted and cannot usefully be used any more. We therefore aim to restore them as soon as we are financially able to. We are able and happy to provide the manpower but the timber and posts for the beds themselves are expensive to obtain.
How will your project benefit your local community?
The raised beds have been fully subscribed and used since we first built them and we have a waiting list of local residents who would like one. We let them at a very small annual rent, currently £5 pa, to those who are keen to grow their own produce and flowers but who cannot manage an ordinary allotment for reasons of age, infirmity or disability. As present allotment holders grow older, they can therefore look forward to the possibility of continuing to work their own plot of land more easily when they can no longer manage their present one. Importantly, they will also be able to maintain their outdoor friendships in a social and active environment.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
The association has a large membership of about 90, mostly couples and families, so the actual membership is much larger. We have always run the site on a self-help basis, having cleared the overgrown allotments originally ourselves. We hold regular and well-attended working parties during which we keep the whole site in good order. We mow, strim, paint sheds, collect rubbish, clear overgrown plots and generally keep the allotments in a hugely improved condition. The membership is therefore very committed and very much in favour of the restoration of our raised beds for those who require them to continue their inclusion in the allotments.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
Although only 8 people at a time can have a raised bed, they pass regularly to other members when their need arises and older members have eventually to give up gardening or move. With funding, we could even increase the number to 10 beds. Over future years, the benefits would be shared among many gardeners.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
Since the present raised beds have rotted, we mean to dismantle them and completely rebuild them with new timber. We are of course happy to provide our own labour.
When and why was your project founded?
We founded our allotments association exactly 10 years ago and have been working to improve the site and its facilities ever since. We have been looking for funding for new raised beds since the start of 2018.