Hello FOTA’s (Friends of the Allotment)
Hoorah!! I am happy to say, we have just had our Open Day, the official ‘launch’ of the Dorothy Parkes Community Allotment.
What a great day it was! Lady Deputy Mayor, Suzanne Hartwell, duly ‘did the deed’ and hoisted a flag made by one of our lovely Arts groups here at the Centre and cut the ‘official’ red ribbon opening the polytunnel.
We were brilliantly entertained by members of the Blackheath Ukulele Collective. ASDA, Oldbury provided some lovely refreshments for us. Yum! Yum!
The Sandwell Play Strategy Team organized pebble painting activities for young and old alike. Lady Deputy Mayor duly got ’stuck in’ as well. We now have a fine ‘crop’ of pebbles set amongst the newly planted flower beds.
We had a group of young people from the NCS ‘Challenge’ organization who helped to plant beds and paint the little shed. A lovely shade of ‘Boathouse Blue’ was more than a little liberally painted on the shed!
Many, many people turned out to support the event and we are grateful to you all. With months of hard work, the kindness of volunteers, the generosity of facebook friends and, associates of the Dorothy Parkes Centre, we are now, officially, ‘open for business’!
If you would like to be part of the adventure in any way, and if you could think of anyone or a group who would like to use the facility, please let us know and we would love to work together with you.
Best wishes, chums.
Enjoy the Summer!
Hello again, Allotment Friends!
I hope you’re all enjoying this fine, sunny weather!!
The gardens, allotments and weeds love it, that’s for sure! I’m developing gills!
Well, news from the ‘plot’. The Dorothy Parkes Centre Community Allotment is coming along apace. The polytunnel, yes, the polytunnel has finally been erected and, thanks to help from lots of lovely volunteers, (including my dutiful ‘roped in’ brother), the poly has been fitted with staging and benches to grow yummy veg and beautiful plants.
An enormous ‘Thank You’ to the team from Sandwell Council, including Park Rangers, who ‘donated’ a Neighbourhoods Give Back Day. We chopped, cleared, constructed, ate cake, planted, strimmed, ate cake, weeded, loaded the skip, Uncle Tom Cobley an’ all and… ate cake!
What a cracking day. Many thanks to one and all. The site is truly being ‘transformed’.
The gate is being built and we are beginning work on the raised beds. Lots of kind people have donated plants of varying kinds. So, we are actually growing things as well as just weeds. Yippee!
More news to follow on this but, please keep Saturday August 3rd 12.00pm – 3.00pm free. The official Open Day! Much planting of beautiful flowers to be done before then. So, if you have any colourful plants to spare, please let us know. Offers gratefully received.
Happy growing, one and all!
Team of council employees get their hands dirty down at allotment plot
As part of Volunteers' Week 2019, Sandwell MBC wanted to give something back to the community and what a way to do it! A team of 15 committed and passionate workers spent the best part of 8 hours down at our Community Allotment Plot, helping with the transformation stage.
The plot, which is currently being converted from an overgrown, underused plot, into an Outdoor Community Classroom, was in desperate need of some TLC as the hedges were overgrown, grass needed cutting, beds needed making, fences needed to be erected and the base in the recently erected poly tunnel needed levelling off.
Each and every person on site that day worked themselves into the ground and managed to tick off each task on the ambitious list! This will help us move this project forward as we edge every closer to the Open Day on Saturday 3rd August 2019.
We would like to thank Sandwell MBC and everybody who attended on the day and supported us. Thank you!!
For more pictures please visit our Facebook page here.
12th February 2019
Happy New Year to one and all!
Now that the site has been cleared, we’re moving on to the design phase of the project. I’ve been meeting with lots of people, agencies and groups to gather as many good ideas as possible before we begin to construct disabled access areas, a poly tunnel and raised beds, in a variety of sizes and shapes so that people of all abilities can join in with planting and growing.
We hope to create a lovely seating area so that folks could just come down to the plot and enjoy being outside, hopefully with a flask of tea and piece of cake (to share, please, Yum!)
We’ve now put down lots of leaf mulch and covered the plot with tarpaulins and sheets kindly donated by Hilltop Transport Ltd, West Bromwich and Karl Blick, our Senior Youth Worker. Lots of spring bulbs have been planted to give some early colour and cheer.
Our resident Inspector Robin came on site, as usual, to monitor progress. I hope he was impressed!
We have had some interest shown from members of groups and associates of the Dorothy Parkes Centre who might wish to be a part of the project. It would be great if you and your friends and family wanted to be involved in any way with the Community Allotment. You may wish to help design the actual space or just have one little raised bed to manage if you felt a big plot was too much. We are most willing to explore any and all ideas for use of the plot.
Please do get in touch if you would like to be part of the project in any way.
P.S Eating chocolate is still part of a good New Year’s Resolution, isn’t it!!?
17th December 2018
Well, it’s finally happened! The site clearance has begun. Paul Hawkins and the boys have begun the ‘Transformation’ phase of the project. They arrived on site with their 5 ton digger and set to work. They made short work of removing the existing gate. We are widening the gate and the hedge to allow for disability access. As they cleared various areas, we discovered a lovely old brick base used for a shed in days gone by. We’ll share this information with Smethwick Heritage Centre who are possibly planning to do a feature on allotments in their May edition.
As the digging began, Becky, from South Staffordshire Water came to the Dorothy Parkes Centre to present us with some water butts and watering cans. Thank you to Becky and the South Staffs team. Very much appreciated.
A cheeky little Robin came to inspect the work on site and said ‘thank you’ to us for digging up some worms for him! I hope he approves of the progress.
Please do get in touch if you would like to be part of the project in any way, especially in the planning stage. All ideas gratefully received.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, one and all.
Dig! Dig! Dig!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Karen: [email protected]
10th December 2018
Hello FOTA’s! (Friends of the Allotment)
Karen here. Your friendly Community Allotment Project Leader.
So far, so good!
We’ve managed to make contact with several local schools who seem keen to become involved in the project. A few people here at the Dorothy Parkes Centre have also expressed an interest in helping, which is great!
Thanks to the lovely team at South Staffordshire Water we’ve had two large water butts and several watering cans donated.
(We need more of these! If anyone out there has any contacts who have any spare water butts, tools of any description, very large plant pots, seeds etc. please let me know. Clear out your shed and see what ‘goodies’ you can donate.)
We’re getting ready for the site to be cleared ready for development of the community areas.
Here’s where you come in! More than anything, we want to create an allotment project that people feel they can be part of. We want to include YOU and involve you in the planning of the project as well as the digging. We really want it to be a COMMUNITY project.
If you want to find out more or, be involved in any way, no experience necessary, we would love to hear from you.
Pre-Karen - Feb 2018 - Oct 2018
The idea of having a community allotment plot came about when a volunteer consultant for our Centre, Sanjaya, met with Mick from Bearwood Road Allotments to discuss the possibility of DPC taking on a plot. The plot available was in a state of disrepair so Sanjaya, along with our CEO, Rob and volunteer fundraiser, Derek, decided to make a funding application to the Postcode Local Trust, to transform the plot into an outdoor community classroom. A lot of work went on behind the scenes in formulating a vision for the plot, a budget and plan for sustainability. We were fortunate enough to secure the funding, recruit Karen and begin the project. As you can see from the pictures below, there was a lot of work ahead!!