Making our charity’s land work hard for our community

Following the publication of our five-year plan, our Green Spaces Manager, Karen Heynike, is on the lookout for opportunities to make our land and estates to work harder, adding social value for our local Elmbridge community.

She recently conducted a survey, asking our partnering charities and volunteers whether they felt there were enough opportunities available for local charities and community groups to get involved in outdoor projects and the overwhelming response that there wasn’t.

Walton Charity has four allotment sites in Walton and Hersham and we know that our allotments provide local residents with social contact, exercise, and group interaction. Good for the body and mind!

Our community allotment provides the benefits of horticulture and gardening to vulnerable and socially excluded adults and we have witnessed that those taking part in our regular activities have built both confidence and independence.

The new kitchen garden at our sheltered housing provides a wonderful place for our residents to come together to grow fruit and vegetables and to swop recipe ideas for the organic produce. It’s also a great social place to just meet up and chat too.

Now Karen has a new project in the making – the Tree Canopy Project. Her vision is to provide space in our woodlands to run activities that will benefit local community groups – woodcarving, mushroom walks, and forest school activities for both adults and children. Her plan also includes giving charities their own growing space.

A survey respondent said, “Green social prescribing is becoming more important for people’s mental health and as a Team Manager for Elmbridge Social Prescribing I fully endorse this project. I believe there is no other type of project in the borough of Elmbridge like this.”

Although Karen is already in discussion with partners, she welcomes new ideas from charities and community groups. She is also happy to discuss any of our existing schemes. Please do get in touch –

“Walton Charity’s Community Allotment projects are always wonderful activities and provide much needed community wellbeing. Not only do they give local people the means to get together and enjoy wholesome outdoor activities, but they always contribute to the improvement of areas used by the local community,” said one of our Community Allotment participants.

Janette ButlerComment