NHC Community Allotment

Encouraging young people to engage with the environment 🌱

The NHC Community Allotment is supported by North Hertfordshire College and based at the Stevenage campus. The project is designed to encourage local people, especially young people, to:

  • Become involved in community activity for wider social benefit
  • Engage with the environment through gardening and growing food
  • Access the well-researched physical and mental health benefits of gardening

We seek to engage with significant numbers of young people across Stevenage, using the College’s own students as a starting point.

A taste of what we do

The NHC Community Allotment is designed to train young people to understand and advocate healthy living in the local area, before providing opportunities to take this knowledge into the community.

We do this by:

  • Training NHC students in gardening and allotment maintenance
  • Organising sessions for local primary school children and other community groups
  • Offering support, advice, and collaboration on allotment and gardens for community groups, including helping schools to create or revive sustainable allotment spaces for their pupils
  • Encouraging volunteering, helping to build skills and confidence
  • Supporting healthy ‘fresh’ eating and an understanding of where food comes from

Skills learnt through the NHC Community Allotment

Gardening skills

  • Caring for seeds: sowing them, learning hot to tend then, and how to pot them on so they can grow into mature plants
  • Propagating: taking cuttings and growing them into mature plants
  • Gardening tools: how to use them, keep them clean, and maintaining them in good condition
  • Preparing planting spaces: weeding and preparing beds so plants grow well
  • Plant care: looking after plants through watering, feeding, mulching, providing support and protection for growth when needed
  • Composting: how to make it and how and where to use it around the allotment
  • How to use the greenhouse and polytunnel
  • The right way to harvest produce

Further skills

  • Reading aloud to tell stories to children
  • Preparing and cooking home-grown produce
  • Basic garden design
  • Research skills
  • Creativity and arts

Positive feedback for the allotment

Interested in getting involved with the NHC Community Allotment?

If you are an employer, community group, school, or charity, we’d love to hear from you. Collaboration is at the heart of the NHC Community Allotment and we welcome discussions regarding sharing our skills and knowledge with the wider community.

Get in touch for a chat about how we can work together.

Get In Touch

An example of our community engagement

Students from NHC’s Child Development Studies courses spent two days at Roebuck Academy to help renovate their allotment and run sessions for the pupils. The children learnt how plants grow and had a chance to get their hands dirty, sowing seeds and planting out vegetables. NHC’s students also taught the pupils about the different parts of plants and their importance, as well as how to create compost, and how to use different gardening tools.

Roebuck Academy’s pupils can now look after plants and reap their vegetable harvest in the coming months.

The project also provides benefits for NHC’s students, who volunteer in the allotment as an extension of their core course. They gain practical experience working with children on a key part of the Key Stage 1 Science curriculum, giving them a head start when it comes to starting their careers in the childcare and early years education sector.

Read more