Phase one was to clear the site and prepare the allotment to be used in a variety of different ways. Along the journey, we were allowed to lease the adjacent plot which doubled the size of land that we could work with. This was great news as it meant that we could ‘expand the vision’ as to what activities and opportunities we could offer our local community.
Phase two was to begin to implement the design for the plot. Thanks to some amazing partnerships with The Wates Group, Bridges Construction and Lovell, we have been able to develop much of the site. These companies have generously donated materials and labour which have helped us to build, clear, fix, scrape, chop, and plant etc.
Thanks to Utilita Energy Limited for the donation of funds for a new shed and Arnold Laver, Oldbury who donated the timber for the raised beds!
COVID had put many parts of the development on hold, but, as conditions eased and things became safer, we were able to carry on the development work.
‘Thank You’ wonderful NHS!
We always knew that as well as growing fruit and vegetables, we wanted to create spaces for people to come and sit and have a calm and peaceful place for rest and reflection. We’ve called these places the ‘Bus Shelter’ and, the ‘Picnic Spot’. A key aim of the whole project is to try to re-use, re-cycle etc as much material as we can as we are developing things. These pieces of ‘scrap’ cladding rescued from the local tip become part of our ‘Bus Shelter’ seating area!
Partnerships ‘a plenty’! Many groups, companies and a variety of funders have supported the work of the Community Allotment since the project began. From the very first gift of a tatty old tarpaulin from a local haulage company (which was very necessary at the time!) to PostCode Lottery funding, a Sandwell Town Grant and funds received from South Staffs Water’s ‘Pebble Fund’, we are continuing to develop the site.
‘Jolly Vollies’! We couldn’t do anything without the support of our ‘Jolly Vollies’, a team of local folks who have helped us develop and maintain the site since it began. Too many kind people to mention here but, very grateful thanks to one and all.
We have begun to welcome a variety of ‘User Groups’ onto the site which has always been one of the key aims of the whole project, to encourage local groups and charities who don’t have outdoor space or allotment facilities, to come and enjoy the facilities we can offer at the Dorothy Parkes Centre Community Allotment whether digging, growing, planting, playing or, just ‘being’ down at the plot!
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