A community allotment will help residents in two County Durham villages recover from the coronavirus pandemic thanks to funding from a leading housing association.
Dozens of people in Coundon and Leeholme who need to rebuild their confidence after lockdown, will benefit from Coundon Community Allotment after the project received £20,000 from believe housing.
Operated by Groundwork North East from Leeholme allotments, the project provides a free, green space to develop outdoor skills. It will also help local people find support with the social, health and economic effects of lockdown with a range of community learning courses.
Support from believe housing will help the project deliver a wide range of activities focused on the allotment. Cooking workshops will use ingredients that can be grown at the allotment or at home as well as providing new skills and advice on how to prepare healthy food on a budget.
Growing sessions will also demonstrate how food can be grown even when outdoor space is limited to lower the cost of healthy food. All of the sessions are being delivered by qualified experts in horticulture, food hygiene and education.
Training and mentoring opportunities are also being created by the project, with specific work experience opportunities, job coaching and interview skills assistance.
The funding is the latest from believe housing’s Community Investment Programme, which has awarded more than £150,000 of grants to tackle the results of Covid-19. The funding programme has been busier than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, assisting groups in responding and recovering from lockdown restrictions.
Community Investment Coordinator Kimberley Batey from believe housing, said: “Lockdown has had an impact on us all over the last year. We know that some people will need extra support to feel safe outside their homes again as restrictions start to ease. When we saw how Groundwork North East was helping local residents experience the outdoors, we wanted to ensure this great project could help as many people as possible.
“Being outdoors has a positive impact on health and wellbeing. The allotment project is a perfect opportunity to bring those benefits to the people of Coundon and Leeholme.”
Joanne Ashworth from Groundwork North East said: “Our community allotment is a fantastic facility that offers local people a chance to get outdoors and enjoy learning new skills or share their knowledge on growing with others. We would welcome anyone who would like to come along and get involved to contact us’
believe housing’s community investment programme supports food banks, sports clubs, schools and charities across most of County Durham and many surrounding areas. Full details are available on the believe housing website, or by calling the Community Investment Team on 0300 1311 999.