Sandwell’s Growing Opportunities Initiative runners up in National Trust Award
Without Veronica Barry, Laura Davis and Helen Sneyd, Growing Opportunities, Sandwell’s urban agriculture, just would not exist.
Their simple aim is to improve health through horticulture and food skills, and by pooling their skills, they’re reaching thousands of people as part of the Health and Well Being Service.
That’s why Sandwell’s Director of Public Health, Dr John Middleton, entered them for a National Trust Growing Hero Award — and they’re now 2012 runners-up.
Child poverty low fruit and vegetable consumption and lack of exercise are real issues in Sandwell. They’ve long dreamt of creating a greener, more productive and healthier environment. Salop Drive Market Garden now supplies fresh produce to local people, and Malthouse Garden – once a 20-storey tower block – focuses on therapeutic and amenity growing with healthy walks and cooking classes.
Veronica, Laura and Helen have built up a team of talented workers, and raised millions of pounds to regenerate derelict land as urban farms and community gardens. A third allotment site is planned near M6 Junction 10 – bringing the total growing area to 10 acres, and transforming many people’s lives.