2016 open days were a great success, building on our first ever Nuneaton-wide open days of last year for National Allotment week.
We had more visitors than 2015, so we were able to promote the benefits of being part of the allotment community to more people, and, as last year, some took the opportunity to sign up for their very own allotment plot.
Of course, most allotment associations put on some refreshments and some raised money for
charity. Visitors seemed to enjoy themselves, sitting out in the glorious sunshine having a cup of tea and a chat with new friends about gardening and the lack of rain (Gardeners are rarely completely happy with the weather!)
Raising money for charity
College Street Allotment Association raised £76 for the Mary Ann Evans Hospice kitchen, a charity they support throughout the year with weekly boxes of fresh fruit and veg; Greenmoor Community Allotment Association, one of the larger sites, raised £150 for charity, by having a tea and cake sale, tombola, BBQ and free homemade wine tasting.
If the commitment and enthusiasm of the members and management teams is anything to go by, the new starters should have great support. If their ‘grow your own’ doesn’t quite live up to the ideal, it is more than made up for by the chance to make new friends and being involved in helping their association’s projects in the local community. For example, Shepperton Allotment Association have just won one of the new Warwickshire Community Volunteers Award for their work on their community garden, Ryder’s Hill current project is to expand their work with Michael Drayton School to help the children set up and make things for a wildlife area on the allotment site.
All this would not be possible without the dedication of volunteers who dive in to help, who contribute time, effort and cake to events and community work, and also those who manage the associations, who are trying to make the organisations relevant to modern times and keep allotmenteering alive – all your efforts are appreciated!