Growing community spirit
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There’s an idea that we have lost the community spirit we once had. How many of us know our neighbours well enough to have a friendly conversation over the garden fence with?
The world is such a busy place, with everyone rushing around, heads down, engrossed in their ‘virtual’ worlds through smart phones and tablets. It seems that we may have lost the ability to take in our surroundings and have the face-to-face conversations that are vital to building lasting relationships.
This community spirit is something that members of the Leamington Spa Hub are working hard to bring to the town with the help of the Incredible Edible network. The Incredible Edible network believes that providing access to healthy, local food enriches their communities with the idea being that herbs, fruit and vegetables are planted throughout the town by volunteers and anyone can pick what they need for free.
After receiving £250 from the Leamington Town Council to buy specially adapted garden tools, the customers at Bromford’s Hub got to work on preparing the ground - with herbs, potatoes, onion sets and garlic the first to be planted.
A few weeks later and the Holly Walk convenience garden is the showpiece for the project - creating loads of interest within the community and hopefully inspiring others to start their own projects. With the selection of produce including gooseberries, redcurrants, raspberries, potatoes, chick-peas, onions, rosemary, rhubarb, mint, chives, parsley, sage, strawberries and runner beans there is definitely something for everyone.
Laura Hill, Bromford Hub advisor said “These projects are really bringing the community together and encouraging our customers to feel less isolated in the local areas they live whilst building confidence, learning new skills and promoting healthy eating.”
Stephen has autism and is a volunteer at the hub and has really embraced the project. He explains the community gardening “makes the area more beautiful and teaches you about gardening.” He goes on to say how he and others from the hub are now working independently helping out on another Incredible Edibles project at Christine Ledger Square in the town. Stephen hopes that the project will build bridges and encourage people to make new friends and meet new people.
There can be too much focus on what people can’t do, rather than what they can and this project proves that no matter what your ‘disability’ may be, with a little help, guidance and encouragement you can achieve your personal goals – with the added bonus of growing some of that much sought after community spirit.