If you would like a growing space of your own but can't wait years for an allotment then Adopt-A-Garden could be for you!
To date this Isle of Wight scheme has matched dozens of keen gardeners with elderly people who can no longer tend their gardens.
Tonnes of vegetables have been grown of previously neglected land, food miles have been reduced and gardens brought back into production.
There are some 3,000 uncared for gardens on the Island, and you could be growing local food for your family and helping an elderly neighbour.
“The scheme has had other add-on benefits. New friendships have developed between neighbours and across the generations…“ said Ray Harrington-Vail of The Footprint Trust, who are leading the project.
Adopt-A-Garden keeps a list of those who are offering gardens and those looking for a growing space. Safety is our number one priority. We carry out a free CRB (police check) to keep everyone safe.
Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Local Food Fund and IW Adult & Community Learning we have been able to train people new to gardening.
The public and parish councils can help by distributing promotional leaflets and putting up posters in local shops, community centres, churches and schools.
You can support Adopt-A-Garden by making a donation. £40 matches an elderly garden owner with a gardener. As the Footprint Trust is a registered charity we can claim Gift Aid on your donation.
Santandar Fountation have generously supported this project.
Principles of the Project
The Trust explains some of the practicalities of the running of the scheme.
“Only gardens that can be accessed from the public highway, i.e. not through a house, are eligible. The gardeners must be allowed access to tend their produce every day. In some cases it might be necessary to give the gardener a key to the garden gate so this can occur. The area handed over to the gardener should be clearly defined. Issues such as cutting of the lawn or removal of any lawn area should be discussed at an initial meeting. The gardener must dispose of all rubbish created in the growing process. Composting of uncooked organic matter should be permitted, but away from the house. No bonfires should be lit. Householder must have safe access to their garden at all times and to paths, washing line, outhouses etc. Sitting of waterbutts, compost bins or any other structure should also be agreed beforehand. We would suggest that no money changes hands from either party. Mains water, if used, could be donated by the householder as a way of saying thank you for looking after their garden.”
The Footprint Trust, a local registered environmental charity, has a commitment to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants, and the environment. The satisfying experiences of planting, cultivating, and harvesting fruits and vegetables can create a lifelong appreciation for healthy living. The Trust believes that gardening is a means of promoting education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship and community endeavour.
Anchor Staying Put supports this project due to its commitment to helping older and disabled people to stay living in their own homes independently, safely, securely and warmly. Tash Koerner, Agency Manager, said:
“Frequently, people also request assistance from us for help with maintaining their garden to prevent themselves from tripping over stones or broken paving slabs, or so they can simply hang out the washing or appreciate the view. The Adopt-A-Garden scheme will allow people to enjoy their garden as an extension to their home more safely.”
History of the Project
It is the case that many Islanders can no longer look after their gardens due to ill health or old age. Volunteers to assist with this growing problem are hard to come by, but ironically there is an increased interest in gardening amongst younger people, many of whom have small gardens or no gardens at all. There is also a waiting list of over 250 people for Isle of Wight Council allotments. The Isle of Wight Council endorses the scheme and encourages anyone currently on the allotment waiting list to consider this innovative alternative.
In the past the Local Food Fund, Isle of Wight Charitable Trust, IW Adult & Community Learning and Anchor Staying Put have contributed to the project.
Contact details – join today!
Those interested in the Isle of Wight project should call the Trust on
Alternatively you can download the joining forms and extra information here.
Please send relevant forms, signed, via the post.
Please remember to put the correct postage on the envelope.
We only operate this scheme on the Isle of Wight.
As of September 2008:
You can see the project in action in a video clip from South Today on the BBC's website, as well as listen to a radio interview:
Adopt–A-Garden in your community
Following on from the successful Adopt-A-Garden model, piloted
on the Isle of Wight, many local communities now want a scheme
of their own. Read more… [PDF]
report includes details on how to set up a scheme along with all the forms and guidelines for those taking part.
Details of support and fundraiding opportunities… [PDF]
The Footprint Trust is in a position to offer guidance on how to set up a scheme based on our experience of running this project and our other community-based endeavours.
If your organisation might be interested in launching the scheme in your community than please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or write to us (address at bottom of page).
For helpful gardening information you can visit:
We are not responsible for the content of external websites.
01983 82 22 82
The Riverside Centre, The Quay
Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QR
The Footprint Trust Ltd is a not-for-profit
Website Creation & Maintenance by Ben Vail, VantageGaming.net