This week is National Allotments Week so we're sharing a fantastic story all about a visit to the Parson Cross Initiative (PXI) allotment at Norwood allotments. HUGE thanks to Sam, who is currently being supported by our Wellbeing Coaches, for sharing her experience!
One of our Wellbeing Coaches, Anna, went along to the allotment with Sam the first time, and then she felt confident to go on her own the following week.
used to enjoy gardening and grew a lot of things (other than weeds) when I used to have a garden.
Hmmm, the negatives came in worrying the what ifs, buts and maybe’s: what if I don’t like it, what if people don’t like me, what if I can't do it ( I’m not very fit these days), what if I kill everything... The negatives go on, but it's time to pull on my big girl pants and do it, after all what’s the worst that can happen! I spent a sleepless night worrying about it.
I needn’t have worried. I went to the group, and Nick and Jules who run the group are really friendly and inviting. Nick gave me the tour of the allotments: there are 4 allotments and there is a variety of vegetables, flowers and fruit growing. There was someone watering, someone having a cup of tea, and chatting.
Nick explained that you didn’t need any experience, anything was all trial and error. There is no pressure to do anything, it's a safe space where you can do as little or as much as you like, some people just go for a cuppa and a chat, some people go to grow things. There is a board with jobs to be done on but no pressure to do anything - but jobs to do if you want to get stuck in.
The allotments are a little overgrown at the moment as they are still recovering from the “lockdown” but it's getting there, we have some items planted in the ground and some planted in raised beds to make it a more inclusive project. All ideas are looked at, nothing is laughed at or ridiculed. If there is something you want to know and nobody knows, Nick will look into it.
There are other allotment holders that pop round to chat, have a drink, give plants etc - it's a real community space and is really inviting!
Thanks again to Sam for sharing her experience, and to PXI for offering the space to join in with an allotment; gardening and allotments really are a fantastic way to meet others, get active (yes, really!), and be in nature.