A bonding allotment project for refugees

Bec Horner

Bec Horner

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A bonding allotment project for refugees

Students and staff from York St John have been working alongside Refugee Action York to provide community allotments for refugees.

Having transformed a disused allotment on Haxby Road, refugees now have a space to plant and grow their own produce. 

But it is not just about growing your own; the project enables refugees, students and allotment holders to build friendships and socialise, have a meaningful activity to enjoy, as well as integrating them into everyday York community life. The project also provides great volunteering opportunities for the students. 

Led by the Occupational Therapy and Research and Evidence based Practice departments at York St John and funded by Growing Green Spaces Fund, the project has already proved successful. 

Dr Hannah Spring, Senior Lecturer said:

We have already seen relationships building as the allotment community welcomed project users into a WhatsApp group, offering seed exchange, equipment and advice.

For refugees, growing food and flowers can also help them connect with their own heritage through the growing of culturally relevant foods. It can also help to develop personal independence away from statutory services and begin to sustain relationships within the community.

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