A new community garden that has been developed in Airedale (Castleford) through Grow Wakefield in partnership with Airedale Community Workshop has continued to go from strength to strength.
When Grow Wakefield (formerly Incredible Edible), who run a series of community gardens spread across all of Wakefield, met with Lindsey The Coalfields Regeneration Trust Health and Wellbeing Activator for Airedale late last year, they spoke about wanting to expand. With no current community garden provision in the area, Lindsey introduced them to the Airedale Community Workshop group. The Community Workshop had the tools and skills to support the building of garden beds and a spare plot of land behind the building, it seemed like the perfect combination.
With the support of a £2000 Airedale Active Grant from Yorkshire Sport Foundation to get the project off the ground, Grow Wakefield have set up and built a new community garden with 13 individual plots for local residents and community garden sessions.
Despite still being in its infancy the project has shown great early successes with 9 of the plots having already been taken by local residents and approximately 10 people attending its weekly group gardening activities.
To support the project to progress even further Grow Wakefield has recently been awarded £9,820 from The Coalfields Recovery and Resilience Fund. The funding is being used to develop new gardening sessions enabling residents to build skills and overcome barriers to their health and wellbeing whilst also enabling the group to sustain, resource and support volunteering opportunities.
Andy Austerfield from Grow Wakefield has seen first-hand the impact the project has been having in the local community and has said “It’s been amazing to see how creating community mini allotments and running a weekly edible gardening club has given so many people the chance to make real improvements to their health and wellbeing and brought people together, creating a real community spirit around the initiative.”
Lindsey Best-Fryer, who operates in Airedale providing health and wellbeing support to local residents as part of The Coalfields Regeneration Trusts Communities Active team, has said “Its great to see the project come to fruition. The work Grow Wakefield and the Community Workshop have done to get the project off the ground is great to see. I still often return to the site to join in with their edible garden club which runs 10-12 every Monday and to continue to offer support where possible. It’s a great asset for the local community and I have already seen the positive impact it has had on some of the local resident’s wellbeing.”