Penrose Roots: growing fruit, veg and friendships in the fresh air

Take a look at this fantastic video produced about the innovative Penrose Roots allotment project in Luton, which gives Penrose service users the opportunity to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The project offers a chance for people to meet and interact with others, reducing social isolation, whilst getting some fresh air and exercise.

Below are some quotes from the video, to whet your appetite!

Samantha Smith, Penrose Roots project coordinator:

“We had an idea that it would be beneficial to the clients to get some sort of growing space. I rang the local council allotment manager, who had put aside a piece [of land] for a community project, so we were able to take control of it pretty much straight away.”

“We have clients that come who are anxious. They’re socially isolated. They tend to form groups now outside of the Roots as well. So they go to other Penrose projects such as the Links together, because they already know other people who are going. Mental health wise, it’s given people a purpose and something to do.”

Brian, Penrose Roots service user:

“Years ago everybody had a garden, but we’ve sort of lost that I think. We enjoy working with the soil, then planting something and seeing it grow – especially if you can eat it afterwards.”

“If you’re up in the allotment, there are lots of other people up here you can meet and become friends with.”

Find out more here about Penrose Options, a member of the Social Interest Group.

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