Natasha Asghar MS planted bulbs at a new community allotment in Cwmbran and declared it a ‘wonderful project’.
Natasha joined the team from United Response, Bron Afon Community Housing, and others, for the tour on Monday this week.
The secure allotment and soon to be sensory garden, now has rows of raised beds planted with wildflowers and onions with more winter vegetables to be planted. A large canopied wooden seating area was designed and built specifically for the garden by a member of staff from Cisco UK as part of the company’s Community Social Responsibility programme. This calm, tree-lined green space is in the heart of Oakfield, a residential area in Cwmbran and is fenced and locked with internal access via a gate from the garden of the neighbouring Bron Afon houses.
Norma Jaggon-Barrett, United Response project manager for the allotment and garden, explained to Natasha that United Response supports people with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health needs and how the community allotment will play an important part in their wellbeing and promote greater levels of community connectivity.
“The area provides an opportunity for meaningful and fulfilling work as well as a place to socialise, contribute and work as a team. The project is using the blue print from the charity’s well-established Potter’s Den project in Bristol and will ultimately be known as Potter’s Den Torfaen,” explained Norma.
“The fruit and vegetables grown by people supported by United Response and community volunteers will be shared with the local school as part of the school’s food bank initiative. There is a strong desire from the people we support to give something back to their community and our team is excited to help our people achieve this,” added Norma.
Natasha said: “This is a wonderful project and I am so pleased to have visited it at this early stage and met the team who are, understandably, so enthusiastic about the opportunities it provides. I can see how it will enrich many lives and benefit the community in many ways. I look forward to visiting again and seeing all the beds briming with vegetables and the orchard, which is part of the plan, bearing fruit!”
Any keen gardeners who would like to volunteer in the community garden and allotment are welcome to contact Norma.JaggonBarrett@unitedresponse.org.uk as are companies who would like to set up a Community Social Responsibility volunteering partnership for their staff.