We are one of the first homelessness charities in the country to benefit from this year’s ‘Local Places for Nature’ scheme.
In Llanelli, The Wallich’s support workers and service users will be creating a wildlife and food growing garden at a large allotment plot, situated in the Tyisha Ward.
Scott, who is being supported by The Wallich, explains how the new allotment is helping his wellbeing:
“I come up here to get out of the flat and do some work. I enjoy doing it.”
As well as the obvious wellbeing benefits, our clients will have the opportunity to learn about the environmental benefits of keeping a garden and gain new skills which they can use as a hobby or potential job in the future.
When The Wallich took on the site, the group began with clearing brambles, building a shed and making the site usable for growing food.
Since then, the group has grown fruits and vegetables and cooked together using the produce to make meals such as cawl.
Various other activities have taken place at the site, growing a sense of community and wellbeing, as well as food. This includes bonfire night celebrations, a course in creative writing and art.
One highlight of the group was British Science Week, including activities on renewable energy and the science of food.
Keeping people busy and offering the pride of learning new skill is part of helping people move on with their lives following homelessness.
Through our trauma-informed support, our teams work hard to offer places of safety, collaboration and trust to help people thrive. The new allotment will do just that.
Whilst the allotment in Llanelli is the largest project in conjunction with the Keep Wales Tidy Local Places for Nature, six more of The Wallich’s projects across Wales have received packs, allowing them to create new, safe spaces for service users.
All the plants, tools and materials are being provided for free by Keep Wales Tidy.
The long-term goal is to expand the Llanelli plot, grow our own produce and to provide healthy fruit and vegetable boxes for service users across the county.
“We were lucky enough to be awarded the Keep Wales Tidy package.
The allotment plot is a really safe place for people to come and sit and chat, find friendship and comradery and get any emotions out.
We’re looking at doing art and music workshops, making soups and giving out veg boxes to the community.
We’ve got a lot of work to do before we get there, but everyone’s really on board with it and we couldn’t ask for more.
I think the most important thing we are growing here is a community.”
“Over the twelve months, more people than ever have come to appreciate the value of nature on their doorstep. But urgent action must be taken to give reverse its decline.
We’re delighted that The Wallich now has the opportunity to make a real difference through Local Places for Nature.
We hope other communities will be inspired to get involved.”
The initiative is part of a wider Welsh Government ‘Local Places for Nature’ fund, committed to creating, restoring and enhancing nature ‘on your doorstep’.
Hundreds of free garden packages have been made available.
To apply, visit the Keep Wales Tidy website