Inspiring groups by encouraging them; inspiring others by demonstrating what’s possible

Bayer Street Allotments Association initially approached Dudley CVS to talk about their aspirations and their funding needs to achieve them. The group wanted to be more community minded and bring new people to the allotments to share their love of growing. In particular, the group wanted to engage with schools and young people.

To do this, the site needed to be more accessible to young people, people who are disabled and women. The biggest part of the group’s plan was to install an eco-toilet costing around £10,000, so members of the group asked for support with funding.

After meeting with the group to understand what they wanted to achieve, the support we gave was around more than funding. We helped the group to become eligible for funding, which involved supporting the group to adapt their constitution and to understand the rules within it.

Support also included identifying Awards for All as a possible funder and linking them with staff at the Big Lottery Fund.

A big challenge the group faced was to do with its lack of lease. Awards for All needed assurances that the local authority had no plans to remove the group from the council-owned site for at least five years. We liaised with the local authority and Awards for All to help reassure the funder.

Finally, because it was clear that all of this would take time, we encouraged the group increase their links with East Coseley Big Local, which would help build community support for the project.

Bayer Street Allotments Association has been involved in lots of community growing projects in and around Coseley and members can now welcome more people onto the allotments site thanks to a successful £10,000 from Awards for All for an accessible eco-toilet which has now been installed.

The group also received an award from the Green Spaces Awards for all the hard work their members put in to engage people in growing.

What’s more, Dudley CVS heard from residents living near Grange Park in Dudley who were keen to resurrect the Friends of the Park group there. We took them to visit Bayer Street Allotments to see what the group had been able to achieve. The visit really inspired the Grange Park residents to get to action and we have been working with them to set up Friends of Grange Park and plan activities there.

“We’ve got a big sense of achievement and we’re looking forward to other projects we can get our teeth into and encouraging others to get involved in voluntary work.” Tom Blackham, Bayer Street Allotments Association

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