The project which we first piloted in the second quarter of 2012, the “community allotment club”, was originally with Greenburn School in East Kilbride which is an outstanding school for children with additional support needs. Greenburn School caters for the additional support of a broad range of pupils who experience learning difficulties of varying degrees and due to a variety of causes. Active schools (South Lanarkshire leisure, SLL) and East Kilbride Football Club are partnering the EKCT to help create social cohesion in the community by all working together to improve it as best we can.
The seeds for these allotments have been sponsored by LS Smellie for beetroot, onions, leeks, potatoes, runner beans, carrots, cauliflower and turnip. Alexander Watt Farm has supplied the labour and equipment to get the ground ready for planting. Wiseman Dairies have supplied the wellingtons and water proof ponchos. Kean Construction (Scotland) Ltd have gifted us the use of their minibus to transport the children and carers to and from the allotment as well as supplying the boxes for growing the herbs/ vegetables. B & Q have supplied some of the hand held tools for the children and Travis Perkins has supplied the majority of the tools.
We are now pleased to announce that we are now also joined on a weekly basis by the teaching staff and pupils from Greenhills Primary school which was part of second next phase. Once we have moved this project forward and more beds have been prepared and created we will be able to cater for the pupils and carers at Duncanrig and Sanderson high school. All these schools play a very important part in looking after, schooling and educating 4-18 year olds in our community with additional support needs. We intend to support these groups for the long term.
We intend to then populate the remaining allotments by working in partnership with SLL with the different community groups with needs that would not be able to finance or ascertain an allotment (at present there is at least a 10 year waiting list in south Lanarkshire) and South Lanarkshire College for their group of adults which have additional support needs.
18 beds have been planted with the following; turnip, carrots, runner beans, parsnips, onions, pumpkins, beetroot, cauliflower, peas, thyme, parsley, cives, basil and coriander. There are 6 more beds to populate. We have also planted 12 trees so far; 2 different types of apple, plum and pear. We have also planted a field of potatoes in the hope that at the end of October when they are picked we can give every child a bag of them home and the wild flower mix has been sown.