Describe your project
Nenthead Play Area Association is a volunteer-led community group, overseeing a project that will create a community garden within the local play area. This will include the provision of raised veg beds for all who want to grow their own produce, the planting of wildflowers to encourage the pollinators and provide a habitat for the smaller visitors to our village along with willow trees to help with drainage and to provide a crop for crafters in the local community. We hope that the garden will be an outdoor space for people to come together, to transfer knowledge and skills, to work together and most importantly a place to interact, to help with rural social isolation. We also hope that community groups will make use of it, particularly those with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.
How will your project benefit your local community?
The community garden is a small aspect of a bigger project to rejuvenate the local play area. The aim is to make the space a multi-generational community hub, accessible to all, regardless of age and ability. The garden will be open to the entire community, it will be volunteer-led and will enable all to get involved with growing their own food and creating a more sustainable way of living. We hope to encourage a more active lifestyle by creating a garden space. The village is incredibly rural with little public transport and not all members of the community have access to a private green space area. The aim is that the project will open up the play area to the entire community. The area has pockets of unemployment due to location and some low-income families, as well as many of the older generation facing rural social isolation. The community garden will enable those who might not have access to fresh produce to grow their own. The hope is that this project encourages the community to access the outdoors, as well as providing social interactions, the learning of new skills and the chance to be more active. Community groups will have the opportunity to get involved, as will the local schools and childcare facilities. Nenthead has a strong community, who love coming together in social spaces, the garden will provide the perfect outdoor area for this to happen.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
The local community is incredibly supportive, they have been wonderful and have actively gotten involved with the project, this includes taking part in fundraising events, promoting the project, writing letters of support for funding applications and taking part in volunteer work days. The committee is completely volunteer-led by community members. Local community groups have also made donations of equipment and time. The play area is at the centre of the village, it's the heart and is incredibly important to the community, every single child in the village will play there at some point in their life, it's vital that we keep it going.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
2 villages and a small town will benefit from the project, this is approximately 2200 people. As well as visitors and local businesses, anyone visiting the area is able to use the local facilities, this will include the community garden. Local businesses will benefit from the rejuvenation as the play area will be significantly more appealing once the project is complete and visiting families will be more inclined to stop rather than drive on through the village.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
The money will be spent on the installation of the community garden, this will include, raised veg beds, soil (the local area is an old mining village and the local soil is contaminated so all soil needs to be imported), rabbit proofing of the area, fencing to make the area safe, wildflower/grass seeds for reinstating the areas that have been dug out to accommodate the beds, and the creation of pathways. We will also be installing a couple of benches for people to take the time to enjoy the area and a shed for the storing of tools. Before the work can start the area needs leveling so there will be the hire of equipment to do this. We hope to do much of the work ourselves, but there will be some items that we need a skilled worker to complete. We will also need to purchase the initial seeds and pots etc to get the growing going!!!
When and why was your project founded?
The project was initially founded 27 years ago, to create a play park for the village of Nenthead, today that project has expanded to include the provision of a community garden in an effort to create a hub for the entire community.