Futures Homescape has provided a number of organisations – including The Coach House in Alfreton, part of Adullam Homes Housing Association Limited, which offers supported housing to homeless 16-25 year olds – with their own ‘square metre garden’ kit.
The kits from Square Metre Gardening include a metre square box, peat and seeds, allowing anyone with even the smallest outdoor space to try their hand at growing vegetables.
The projects have also received gardening equipment donated by Fiskars.
Sara Parkin, housing advice manager at Futures Homescape, said: “These mini gardens mean anyone can enjoy the benefits of growing and eating their own fresh vegetables. We can offer people who don’t always have stability in their lives the opportunity to care for a garden and that’s very beneficial. I’m delighted we’ve been able to offer the square metre gardens to a number of our partners.”
Futures Homescape has a contract with Amber Valley Borough Council to give advice and assistance to those facing homelessness, which includes referring people to appropriate accommodation. The square metre garden scheme will be offered at seven schemes, including drug and alcohol units, a womens’ refuge and a mother and baby unit.
The Coach House was one of the first organisations to benefit from the scheme. Gareth Greedy, project manager at Adullam’s Coach House, said: “We offer supported accommodation to young people and aim to help them develop skills that will allow them to live independently. This includes education on the importance of healthy eating and we hope that growing vegetables in our new garden will become a part of that learning process.”
Funding for the project was provided by Derbyshire Health and Housing Group. Members include, NHS Derbyshire County PCT, Amber Valley Borough Council, all other Derbyshire Local Authorities and voluntary sector representation.
Jane Horton, Housing and Health Strategy Manager at NHS Derbyshire County said: “This is an innovative and cost-effective project which will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people and groups.”