The community group Transition Town Andover coordinated a Garden Share project which gave young people from the NCS (National Citizen Service) the opportunity to be actively involved.
A presentation was given to explain the aims of Transition Town Andover: to raise awareness of Climate Change whilst reducing our dependency on fossil fuels by finding practical solutions in our own community. The project was explained and it was shown how both members of Andover and District Mencap and the Food Bank would benefit. In the long term, people with a learning disability would gain gardening skills and any surplus vegetables would go to the Food Bank.
Once on site the young people were introduced to the practical skills of preparing a vegetable bed, potting on vegetables into containers and building a greenhouse out of plastic bottles. They worked very hard in the blistering heat to make vegetable beds in a grassed area which had never been cultivated. There was also time for them to use their imagination to make garden ornaments, mobiles and decorative pots from recycled or unwanted materials. Four people with a learning disability who wish to make the garden a successful ongoing project were there every day joining in the activities with the young people.
The young people were supported by their mentors from the NCS scheme. Those with learning difficulties had extra support from Mencap volunteers. The planning and day to day coordination was carried out by volunteers from Transition Town Andover. Many of the vegetables had been sown as seeds in The Encounters Shop Project.