A new community allotment is producing fresh food and eggs for the Carlisle Food Bank. The project, based in Botcherby is run by Cumbria County Council’s Specialist Youth Service.
Young people who are fulfilling Court Order requirements have transformed the space from an overgrown piece of waste land, to a thriving organic area growing all sorts of vegetables and rearing chickens. The young people are responsible for looking after and feeding the chickens, and maintaining the allotment. As well as improving the landscape and contributing fresh produce to the local food bank, the young people are developing new skills, and building their confidence as part of the scheme.
Claire Bastiman, a Specialist Youth Co-Ordinator with Cumbria County Council based in Carlisle, said: “It’s been so rewarding to see these young people transform this piece of land in to a vibrant and rich allotment which is producing a variety of tasty fresh vegetables that we can donate to the community. They love looking after the chickens too.”
Cllr Anne Burns, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This is a fantastic project which helps young people develop new skills and ultimately enhances their employability through improved confidence and experience working as part of a team. Many of these young people just need a second chance and an opportunity to thrive in the right environment. I am pleased that so much produce is being donated to the local food bank, and I think it’s a fantastic way to give something back to their community.”
Local people are being encouraged to donate any old or unwanted gardening equipment items, wood, pallets or any other materials which may be useful to the project. Items can be collected – if you would like to donate something, please contact the Specialist Youth team on 01228 227090.