DDN November 2021 November 2021 - Page 14



A recent celebration at the Roots to Recovery community garden in Luton was an opportunity to highlight the healing power of the outdoors , says Vanessa Johnson

Last month saw Luton service – and member of the Social Interest Group ( SIG ) – Penrose Roots to Recovery ( Roots ) host the town ’ s mayor Mahmood Hussain at a special celebration at the community garden . Roots has been awarded £ 413,004 over three years by the National Lottery Community Fund to engage with a minimum of

830 people in the local community who are experiencing mental and physical ill-health .
This will be achieved through its programme of outdoor-based workshops , training , and social groups and will enable the project to create exciting opportunities in Luton . One such opportunity is to increase growing spaces to enable Roots to produce even more fresh vegetables and fruits to support
local people , families , food banks and community kitchens . The celebration included a lunch made from vegetables grown in the garden , along with speeches , a raffle and sales of vegetables , flowers and honey from the garden ’ s apiary . The day also served as an opportunity for potential volunteers to see firsthand the work involved in running the project .
‘ We ’ ve all put a lot of effort into
today so that the mayor , council members , partners , and other visitors can see what the project is about ,’ said Roots service manager Samantha Smith . ‘ We will use the lottery award to continue to provide much needed support to our members and wider community .’
The funding ‘ couldn ’ t have come at a better time ’, said SIG CEO Gill Arukpe ( above right centre , with cheque ). ‘ Roots has long proven itself