Digging for Victory at MAIN
MAIN is creating a groundbreaking new centre for families living with disabilities in the North East, and this grant would help us develop a space within it where our service users will truly work as a team. We want to build a garden allotment where our service users can grow their own crops, and cultivate them to use in their cooking sessions with us. They will innovatively design the allotment around the seasons, choosing fruit and vegetables they want to include in their menu. Management of the allotment is entirely down to them, as a team, from propagating and planting, to watering, weeding and nurturing. It must be accessible to all, and built to last for future generations.
Through the project our service users gain essential life skills to grow their own food, and can earn a horticulture qualification too. Designing the garden themselves encourages independence and the satisfaction of achievement. They work together, building interpersonal, social and communication skills that will help them at home and in the community. The gardening itself is a sensory activity that is especially effective for our users with an autism spectrum disorder to help calm. It is also proven to improve mental health and wellbeing.
What we need
To create an accessible, sustainable garden, we need funding for: recycled plastic boarding, topsoil, specially adapted tools, propagating trays, seeds and protective netting, plus rental of a tipper van. We estimate the cost at £1,000 in total.