Community Green Grants has set aside £725,000 to provide funding for locally-led projects that can help deliver one of the key aims of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Natural Environment Plan, which is for everybody living in the West Midlands to have access to high quality green and blue spaces within a 300-metre walk of where they live.

The Dorothy Parkes Centre has recently been awarded £23,977 to take on a second allotment to grow fruit and vegetables to help local people experiencing food poverty and provide produce to foodbanks. The grant will also be used to make the existing community allotment plot more biodiverse by installing a pond, a vertical green wall, and a wildflower area.

 Volunteers and staff from The Dorothy Parks Centre in Smethwick in their allotment

Usha Chopra, Lynne Howard and Joy Palmer, who are volunteers at The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick with Paul Randall, plot lead, and Rob Bruce, chief executive.

Rob Bruce, CEO at Dorothy Parkes Centre, said "This is great news for our Centre and our Community Allotment Project. It is a project which has many benefits including having a positive impact in our local environment, and introducing members of our community to the world of nature and gardening. This grant will enable us to continue with the project for at least another year and we will be able to employ a Plot Assistant who will support our Plot Lead, Paul, and our team of volunteers."   

Jackie Homan, head of environment for the WMCA, said: “Time spent in nature is known to be beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing, but access to green spaces is not equal across the West Midlands. We’ve allocated just over half of the funding available through our Community Green Grants to improve access to high quality green space and I encourage as many groups as possible to get in touch if they have a project idea they think we can support.”

The WMCA is working in partnership with the Heart of England Community Foundation, which is managing the online portal and supporting the application and appraisal process.

For further information see the Community Green Grants page on the WMCA website.

For further information about the project and to get involved, please see our Community Allotment page or call us on 0121 558 2998.