Through our mentoring, training and digital knowledge, the Positive People project has done wonders for building skills to get individuals closer to work. However, our remit also encourages us to look at other areas of a participant's well-being and our connection with the environment.
The Positive People team collaborated with North Devon Homes to clear a garden situated just off the grounds of Forches Primary School, involving participants in a local community project and giving them the opportunity to achieve something on their own terms.
Before it was sadly neglected, the community grew various herbs, fruit and vegetables. Here are some photos of what the garden looked like before:
In 2015, North Devon Homes won first prize in the Horticultural marquee trade stand competition for their produce. We are working to get it back up to the high standard of its previous reputation.
It was a beautiful day and everyone got stuck in to clear the overgrown garden. The ground was solid - we were jumping on the spade with both feet to get it into the ground, I felt like I was on a pogo stick! We managed to dig up all the weeds, clear the raised beds and get it looking respectful again.
Succeeding in hours of strenuous gardening we walked to Winddon Valley Youth Centre where North Devon Homes had prepared a lovely spread of sandwiches, buffet food and fruit. It was a well-deserved rest after a tiring morning. After lunch the team worked together to bag up the rubbish and garden clippings and have an overall tidy up.
Adam, North Devon Homes Neighbourhood Ranger says, “I work in the community daily, mainly managing estates and have been involved with the maintenance of Forches community garden for a while now." Adam had use of an industrial strimmer and cut down the hardest to reach areas for us.
We even picked some redcurrants off one of the bushes there to make homemade redcurrant jelly.
Moving forward the project plans to take participants to the garden to plant some produce and keep it maintained at the community's leisure. Forches Primary School are looking forward to using the garden to deliver hands on learning and education the students on the environment.