The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick has been awarded £19,985 by the Postcode Local Trust, a grant giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to secure an overgrown allotment plot & transform it into an outdoor community classroom; enabling members of the local and wider community to develop life, employability & horticulture skills, improve confidence & participate in physical activity. The funding will support the transformation stage of the project at the plot which is based at Bearwood Road Allotment and it will allow the Centre to employ a Project Coordinator, purchase the relevant tools and equipment and recruit and train volunteers.

The 12 month project is due to begin at the end of October when the new Project Coordinator, Karen Palmer, will begin recruiting volunteers and clearing up the plot before a new design can be mapped out. The draft plans drawn up are for a fully accessible plot with a shed/summerhouse, poly tunnel, and raised beds. The plot will become fully community led after the initial 12 month transformation stage.

 Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at the Centre, said:

“This is brilliant news because it allows us to run a project which is off site, outdoors, has environmental benefits and educational benefits. We envisage the plot, which is currently in a state of disrepair, becoming an outdoor community classroom which all of the local community can be involved in and reap the benefits which running an allotment plot can bring, including improved mental and physical health.

“We are under no illusions that this will involve a lot of hard work and there will be blood, sweat and tears throughout this journey but it would not be possible without this funding from Postcode Local Trust, so we wholeheartedly thank the trust and the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for this opportunity.”

We have recruited a Project Coordinator, Karen Palmer, & we are recruiting volunteers to support the transformational stage of the project. If you would like to be involved in this project please contact Karen on 07552 578 117 or email [email protected] 


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