Goscote Greenacres is a not for profit company set up to encourage and support local people with learning disabilities, and those without, to come together on a local allotment site and community garden to learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy gardening and other outdoor activities together.
About Our Site
The site consists of 54 plots 25 of which are raised beds which the local community come and use to grow mainly fruit and vegetables. The site attracts more elderly members to use the raised beds as this enables them to garden easily, 42% of site users are over 50.
The site is situated in a deprived ward and contributes to local and national health outcomes by increasing physical activity and improve diet by supplying fresh vegetables to the local community through our onsite farm shop.
Goscote Greenacres provides opportunities for people with disabilities who use the centre as well as residents, community groups and schools in the Goscote area. The site offers growing opportunities for everyone as well as education in food production and the natural environment. We bring people together through gardening. We are based on Goscote Lane next to the Wyrley and Essington Canal. Our postcode is Walsall WS3 1SJ
Moving forward Goscote Greenacres Community garden wishes to continue doing the good work it has achieved in the past while still working in partnership with Social care and inclusion, along with other partners including Mary Elliot special school, youth justice, harmony Care and local business community. The garden hopes to take on the management of Bloxwich community orchard as well as develop a garden maintenance business and a local vegetable box scheme in conjunction with local food producers.
The Reaching Communities grant from the Big Lottery prevents the community garden from closing and will seek to address the issues below:
Old age, loneliness and isolation - As 42% of our site users are over 50 it helps keep them active and part of the community. Recent statistics also show that isolation is more harmful to health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day so by engaging those who are most isolated we are also improving physical wellbeing.
Mental health – studies show that gardening helps to improve people’s mental health through helping them to improve communication with others, help with learning new practical skills/teamwork and planning and improving confidence and helping with concentration.
Learning difficulties – The project gives adults with LD a sense of purpose, ownership and responsibility, and a chance to interact with the local community.
Physical difficulties – The project provides health benefits to local community through increased physical activity and locally grown organic produce, either their own or through our onsite farm shop
Community cohesion – The project helps tackle prejudice by bringing adults with learning disabilities and the local community together in positive and informal environments
The environment – teaching people how to grow organically and care for the environment.
Poor diet and physical wellbeing - The garden increases access to fresh vegetables through our onsite farm shop. Also the 42 families with plots on the site have increased physical activity through gardening and also increase their intake of fresh locally grown vegetables.