The aim of the project was to build a series of raised beds, a polytunnel and a potting room to develop the Shaw Lane Community Garden/Allotment being developed by volunteers and service-users. Raised beds make the site more accessible to older participants and those with disabilities. The result is an active working garden accessible to the wider community that is used as a method of engagement and a lasting legacy to the Health Trainer project. The immediate benefits are the physically active work that gardening offers members as well as therapeutic benefits that lead to an increase in both mental and physical wellbeing. Produce grown at the site can be used to deliver ‘cook and eat’ sessions across the borough, providing participants first hand experience of the field to plate eating.
This project, as with the general development of the plot on a daily basis, is service user led. The core group of six male volunteers all experience varying health conditions and disabilities, including visual impairment, depression, blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.