The results of an exciting project set up to help address longstanding and documented underlining health inequalities amongst the African Caribbean community have been revealed.
The issues within the community were exacerbated during the pandemic, making them more susceptible to the devastating effects of Covid-19.
Supported by Bristol Street Motors, which operates a number of car dealerships across the West Midlands, the Back to Eden Community Allotment Project is based at the Heath Town Allotments, situated on the New Park Village estate in Wolverhampton.
During the official opening ceremony, a Windrush bench was unveiled and local children from Trinity CE Primary Academy planted a symbolic fruit tree.
The project brings significant benefits to the community including:
- Facilitating friendships and galvanising community spirit
- Supporting mental wellbeing with a pleasant open space
- Developing skills to grow local produce
- Encouraging physical activity
- Encouraging healthy eating
- Promoting intergenerational working through engagement with local schools and churches.
Allotment activities will focus on using horticulture and gardening activities, encouraging all age participation to grow fruit and vegetable crops, adopting healthier lifestyles, improving physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, as well as aiding community social interaction.
The involvement of Trinity CE Primary Academy and Heath Park High School will help to facilitate an intergenerational aspect of the project, allowing seniors and others to share Windrush stories in a relaxed natural environment.
The two allotment plots acquired by the Back to Eden Community Allotment Project had not been used for years and were overgrown and used for fly-tipping. The plots have now been made safe and the project is appealing for further volunteers and support.
Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Bristol Street Motors, said: “This fantastic community initiative is something we are proud to support.
“To help people to help each other, and themselves, is very rewarding and I hope the project goes from strength to strength.”
Joe Jackson from Churches 4 positive change said: “This has been a very difficult year for the local community which prompted a number of churches in the area to come together to give something back.
“This project has been a combined effort from many different parties to create this fantastic area for people to enjoy for years to come. We want to thank Bristol Street Motors for their support towards the project, which will make a real difference in the community.”
The organisations that are members of Churches 4 Positive Change are currently: New Testament Church of God x 4, Church of God of Prophecy x 2, Seventh Day Adventist x 2, Zion City Tabernacle, Mount Shiloh Apostolic, Christian Life City and African Caribbean Community Initiative.
The Back To Eden Community Allotment Project is supported by Get Active Black Country, Windrush Day Grant, Awards For All, Bristol Street Motors, Carvers Building Supplies, Kingsway Project and Wolverhampton Homes.