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Willoughby Road Allotment Association

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We're supporting food sustainability groups this quarter, through our Community Champions scheme.

Willoughby Road Allotments encompasses everything you’d expect from an allotment; chatter over fences, friendly faces, earthy smells and unusually large vegetables! Their commitment to supporting the local community is what sets the group apart.

For many allotment holders, a plot is a great way to be a bit more self-sufficient, growing copious amounts of fresh fruit and veg year after year. But what good are all these vegetables if you’re stuck for what to do with them?

Willoughby Road Allotment Association is looking to invest in facilities that will allow them to offer guidance to their local community on how they can make nutritious meals with local produce, making healthy living sustainable and enjoyable.

Paul Collingwood, Vice Chair at Willoughby Road Allotment Association said: “I initially got involved in Willoughby Road Allotments due to my love for fresh, local, organic food. When you’ve sown, tended, and picked the plants yourself the flavours are so much better, and it spurs you on to want to grow more.”

Money raised through our Community Champions scheme is going to fund a project that aims to inspire this same passion into others and enable them to make delicious and healthy food, using produce grown on the allotments.

Not only does this understanding have obvious health benefits, but it enables people to reduce waste and save money.

Currently, the association has a small kitchen space, to prepare and cook produce, or simply make yourself a quick cup of tea.

Community Champions funding will develop these facilities further, to create a unit which serves as a classroom, meeting room and, most importantly, a communal dining area.

It will be a space for the community to come together to enjoy healthy, local food, and Paul says he’d like to have a growing plot nearby the new unit. People will be able to understand every step of the process, from sowing the seed to tending the plants, and eventually making it into a nutritious meal.

“Not only do we want it to be somewhere people can come to relax and have a drink or something to eat, we want it to be a space that teaches people how to use vegetables,” says Paul.

“The guidance we’ll offer won’t be overly technical, but it’ll give people a basic understanding of how to cook in a way that’s healthy, affordable and enjoyable.”

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