Published on June 9, 2022

North Hertfordshire College was pleased to welcome supporters of the NHC Community Allotment project to our Stevenage Campus to see the project in full operation.

Amongst our guests were representatives from Stevenage Borough Council including Cllr Mayor Sandra Barr, as well as representatives from Stevenage Community Trust and local businesses such as Vanstone Park Garden Centre. Guests were treated to a tour of the allotment to see what the project has achieved so far as a result of their support. They also heard directly from NHC students about their experiences, helping our supporters understand the impact they’ve had on the local area.

Through the NHC Community Allotment project, students on some of our Childcare, Health & Social Care, Hospitality & Catering, and Supported Studies courses learn practical gardening skills and gain a greater understanding of healthy eating. Our students are also trained as volunteers who can assist in gardening activities, allowing them to take their learning into the local community for groups who want to participate in these activities for themselves.

At North Hertfordshire College, we believe it’s important to support healthy eating at a time when more than half of children, and a large number of adults, do not eat fruit and vegetables every day. Through the NHC Community Allotment project, we not only encourage our students to think about the benefits of growing their own food for their physical health but also the benefits of gardening and being outside for their mental health, too.

The College’s ambition is to bring the NHC Community Allotment project into more local schools and community groups. Our Childcare and Health & Social Care students have already participated in pilot events with Roebuck Academy, running sessions at NHC’s Stevenage Campus as well as volunteering in Roebuck’s own allotment. Plans are already in place to bring these sessions to Knebworth Primary School and Ashtree Primary School, with a goal to reach further schools across Stevenage in the coming months.

In addition, the NHC Community Allotment Project is registered with the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening and is already accredited to Level 3 out of 5. An application will be made at the end of the academic year to achieve Level 4 accreditation.

Mayor Cllr Sandra Barr said: “What a wonderful project the NHC Community Allotment is. The enthusiasm and knowledge these young people showed was amazing, and the fact that they in turn are sharing their experiences with other young people across the town by working with primary schools is so commendable, NHC and its pupils should be truly proud of themselves.” 

Paul Dee, Project Lead for the NHC Community Allotment, said: “I am so proud of what our students have achieved. They have made their mark in the community and are a credit to the College. Our supporters have made that possible.”

North Hertfordshire College would like to extend its thanks to our supporters of the NHC Community Allotment project, including

  • Pears Foundation with #iwill
  • Giles Groom, Vanstone Park Garden Centre
  • Stevenage Community Trust
  • Finnis Scott Foundation
  • Wickes – Stevenage branch
  • Councillors of Stevenage Borough Council

Thank you to all those from the community who attended our launch, including

  • Cllr. Sandra Barr, Mayor of Stevenage
  • Cllr. Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council
  • Cllr. Richard Henry, Stevenage Borough Council and Executive Member – Children, Young People, Leisure and Culture
  • Cllr. Chris Howells, Stevenage Borough Council
  • Cllr. Margaret Notley, Stevenage Borough Council
  • Cllr. Maureen McKay, Stevenage Borough Council
  • Giles Groom, Vanstone Park Garden Centre
  • Debbie Reeve, Stevenage Community Trust
  • Sam Bush, Stevenage Community Trust