Allotments: How accessible are they for you?
Our theme for 2020 is Growing Food for Health and Well-being, a reflection of the many benefits of growing, cooking and eating your own fruit and vegetables. Here is what our President Phil Gomersall has to say,
"This year every week has been National Allotments Week, with more people than ever realising that growing your own food is a great way of eating healthily, getting some outdoor exercise in the fresh air and acquiring new skills. Plot-holders have also benefited from the contact with nature and the easy camaraderie on allotment sites, helping to retain their mental health and stay positive during these worrying times.”
However, this got me thinking about the accessibility of an allotment. Surely disabled people also deserve to eat healthily, get some outdoor exercise in the fresh air and acquire a new skills? I appreciate that this isn't possible for everyone, but here is some information about the Gardening for the Disabled Trust.
How we can help
The Trust exists to help people continue to experience the joy of gardening, despite disability.
We do this by awarding small financial grants to help applicants to continue to garden actively – or, as our founder put it back in 1968 ‘ to get the soil under the fingernails’.
Our most common request is for raised beds and planting tables: we often pay for accessibility ramps, handrails for outside steps, adapted tools, polytunnels and much more.
Sometimes we simply pay for the seeds or bulbs to get the garden going again. We are all about actively gardening.
Who we help and what we pay for
We help individuals, and we love to help groups, because that makes our money go further. People with all kinds of physical or mental abilities, in all parts of the UK, have been awarded grants from the Trust.
We rarely (almost never!) pay for decking, and we never pay for clearing, cutting down trees, general maintenance, provision of a gardener or fencing.
Are you a gardener? Do you have an allotment? Do you have any tips and tricks for making it accessible? Let us know in the comments below!