Bringing the community together through an active environment
A new-build estate known as ‘Channels’ in Chelmsford, accommodates a Community Veg Garden project to give local residents the opportunity to unite and cultivate their own vegetables.
Launched in March 2023, the gardening project offers 23 plots and a community plot, which caters to both nuclear and extended families. Gardening offers a variety of health and wellbeing benefits, as well as the chance to strengthen communities and create a sense of belonging.
The Community Veg Garden project has provided its participants with a multitude of wider benefits beyond simply growing fresh produce. Firstly, it offers a sense of community and socialisation for those involved, as they work together towards a common goal and can bond over their shared interest in gardening and sustainability.
Additionally, the act of gardening itself can be therapeutic and stress-relieving, providing health benefits for participants. The project also promotes environmental awareness and encourages individuals to take an active role in reducing their carbon footprint through sustainable practices such as composting and reducing waste.
Finally, the availability of fresh, locally grown produce improves access to healthy foods for those who may not otherwise have access due to economic or geographical constraints. Overall, this project has had positive impacts on both individual wellbeing and the larger community.
Active Essex worked in partnership with Chelmsford City Council, to provide funding for the plots, which are allocated to residents for the year to grow their own vegetables. Since the Community Veg Garden was set up, there has been an overwhelming number of applicants with many on the waiting list for year 2. The success of this project can be attributed to its alignment with the desires of the residents. The planning process was also executed with great care, and all individuals who expressed interest in participating were actively involved.