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Bromford residents get digging at new community allotment

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Residents of Normacot Grange, in Meir, Stoke-On-Trent, are planting and growing their way to a stronger neighborhood after creating new community allotments with the help of Bromford, a leading Midlands housing association.

The local resident's group, made up of local tenants and Bromford colleagues, opened the allotments to the community at a special launch event on Tuesday (14th August).

Bromford, who manage more than 27000 homes across central England, donated £2000 towards the project. Local councilors Debbie Wheildon and Meir South also donated 8 raised plant beds for the allotment site. Bromford CEO Mick Kent and Executive Director Nick Cummins were joined by residents and councillors at the launch, helping to celebrate the fantastic contribution the residents group has made to the community project.

Mick Kent officially opened the gardens by cutting a special red ribbon, before presenting a commemorative bench to the Residents Group.

In total, residents moved over 30 tonnes of earth and recycled more then 2,500 slabs for block paving from the nearby Shelton Barsteel works to create the community gardens. Residents designed the site to ensure it was accessible to wheelchair users so that everyone could be involved. Groundwork West Midlands have also helped in supplying the fencing and donated a gate to the area.

Not only will the community be able to use the allotments for growing their own vegetables, local children will even have a designated area where they can learn about growing organic vegetables. 

Rishi Spolia, Neighbourhood Manager for Bromford Living, believes projects such as this really bring the community together, and help create better neighbourhoods for residents. He said, "The community felt that creating a shared allotment and garden area was a great use of space and linked in with the their interest in growing vegetables and also getting out and about.

Kevin Barton, a member of the residents group and caretaker for Normacot Grange, says the residents have been producing a whole host of produce from the allotments. "We are currently growing carrots, cabbages, broccoli, spring onions, corn on the cob, beans, peppers, cauliflower, onions, parsnips and beetroot. We are planning on sharing out any surplus produce amongst the neighbourhood, creating our own thriving community market."

The Normacot Grange Residents Group is also behind a host of other activities including a breakfast club, Christmas grottos, Easter egg hunts and fundraising for a local needy child. They have also worked with other local groups to run computer classes for beginners, sewing classes, and other evening activities. Their funds have been raised through various events such as bingo and quiz nights, as well as a jubilee street party.

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