• In February 2009, Bradford YOT took over the management of eight plots at a local allotment. In addition to working the land, YOT also had Port-a-Cabin delivered onsite. This was converted into our classroom area with storage for equipment and a generator to ensure a source of electricity. The entrance road was improved to establish a parking area and patio. Throughout this period, the young people have contributed in all aspects of the work: learning new skills, often working alongside qualified, or experienced tradesmen.
• Derek Nolan, other YOT staff and their volunteers initially knew very little about horticulture, to say they were one chapter of a book ahead of the young people, would be paying them a huge compliment, whereas now, they understand the difference between the different vegetables that we grow, crop rotation and the strategic positioning of the pond, which attracts the correct wildlife that eats the insects that damage the crops.
• The YOT provision do a considerable amount of work for other plot holders, often undertaking the heavy manual work, which often puts people off owning an allotment. YOT recently received letters of commendation from the Council. During the annual inspection, it was noted, “the allotment plots were cultivated to an excellent standard. Congratulations on such lovely allotments they were a pleasure to see”. They described the allotment as “Bradford’s best kept secret”.
• Health and safety plays an integral part in the work of the provision and clients are briefed on what is acceptable and not acceptable from day one and is continually monitored and reported on.
• The allotment has two port-a-cabins. One has been converted into a kitchen at one end with a secure area to keep belongings safe at the other. The second is converted into a classroom’ with a port-a-loo ensures the provision is self-contained.
• The produce grown at the allotment is distributed to many organisations, charities and agencies that feed disadvantaged and marginalised individuals. For example: New Horizons; Horton Housing; New Hey Road Methodist Church; Ministry of Food; Alzheimer’s society; Provident Financial Good Neighbour Good Neighbour Project; Megabytes; Salvation Army; Bradford Curry Project.
• This year, some of the produce has been on display at Keelham Farm Shop, Thornton, Bradford. In return, YOT received food vouchers to purchase fresh nutritional food for the clients who live independently, or client’s whose families have fallen on hard times. This is something which both YOT and OIAM we believe is a step in the right direction.