National Allotments Week, originating in 2002, is a week-long campaign to raise awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships, and bolster communities.
This year’s theme is Growing Food for Health and Well-being and aims to highlight the benefits of growing, cooking and eating your own fruit and vegetables.
Across the UK, The Conservation Volunteers help people to learn how to grow their own produce and maintain green spaces that allow people to do so.
TCV Leicester Community Food Growing Support Programme
One of these projects is TCV Leicester’s Community Food Growing Support Programme that provides free support and advice to schools, early learning settings, community groups and allotments, creating a vibrant network of food growing projects across the city.
The project is funded by Leicester City Council, who also provide Get Growing grants to provide new growers a small boost to get started.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, some allotments such as Evington Hilltop Allotments stayed open to provide an opportunity for exercise and safe social interaction for plot-holders. Whilst they were able to continue to plant and care for their plots, the social aspect of the site wasn’t the same.
However, the group came together and created a WhatsApp group to stay in touch during the lockdown period and have come up with lots of plans for bringing the community together once it is safe to do so.
TCV Birmingham Health for Life
Health for Life is a community programme which aims to make a sustained difference to healthy lifestyles in local communities across Birmingham.
The programme provides facilities and support to establish activities which engaged people in growing food, physical activity, healthy eating and cooking.
Funded by Mondelēz International and delivered by TCV and, through schools, Services for Education, Health for Life works in community gardens and delivers TCV Green Gym sessions to encourage people to grow their own food and to provide people with the skills and knowledge to do so.
Growing our own fruit and vegetables is a great source of physical exercise and is also good for the environment as it reduces your carbon footprint as well. With plenty of allotments and community gardens across the UK, and with many fruits, vegetables and herbs being able to grow in planters on a windowsill, getting involved is easy.
Make sure to follow us @TCVtweets for updates on our return to volunteering.