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A Place to Grow!

St.Helens Mind - A Place to Grow

As part of National Allotments Week 2020 (10 August till 16 August) the St.Helens Mind team welcomed Sandra Roscoe and Mike Vass from the Co-op to help with some weeding, planting of strawberries and making a bug hotel. This year’s theme for 2020 is ‘Growing Food for Health and Well-being’ and they were shown around the various beds where allotment members nurture flower and herb beds, vegetables and fruit trees.

The St.Helens Mind allotment has evolved over many years until it is now a well -tended site where volunteers and St.Helens Mind members alike enjoy the space, where they not only grow and care for plants, they enjoy fresh air, exercise, good company and a peaceful, safe and welcoming haven.

Gill Ellison, CEO said: “We see first-hand the benefits of visiting our allotment, there is space to work alone if you simply want some peace or you can just sit and have a chat and a cuppa too. There are many laughs and if its a bit of weeding or something more strenuous being done, it all help to make it a success. It was lovely to see Sandra and Mike representatives of the Co-op, as Member Pioneer at the Elton Head store and Mike Bass a loader from the Depot at Lea Green, respectively. We have previously received funding via Co-op members at a local store and enjoy our relationship with them.”

A report published by The King’s Fund has recognised that there were a variety of health benefits from gardening, including reducing depression, loneliness, anxiety, and stress.

Working in a garden or at an allotment is an excellent way to get all-round exercise for improving strength, endurance and flexibility and can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other medical conditions.

Sandra Roscoe added: "Both Mike and I really enjoyed our session at the allotment as part of the National Allotments Week. It was a real joy to see the camaraderie between the volunteers and members of the allotment. I experienced first-hand the sense of achievement in working on a small strawberry patch in peace and quiet and beautiful sunshine. Mike meanwhile turned his hand to creating a bug hotel which will benefit insects that are important for pollinating next year's crops. It's clear to see the benefits that are available to members through this wonderful facility, and I look forward to seeing it prosper in the future".

There are volunteers and members of all abilities and backgrounds at the allotment, and there are always opportunities to learn from more experienced gardeners or share knowledge as a group. Taking home fresh produce is just one benefit of attending this little jewel in the town.

If you would like to know more about being referred into the ‘A Place to Grow’ project or would like a volunteer application form, please contact 01744 647089 or email


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