Our Community Allotment has been Yarn Bombed!
On 1st June, we celebrated the return of our volunteers to our Community Allotment by yarn bombing* the allotment site!
On Terrace Road, our largest allotment site is home to our Community Allotment, where people from all walks of life get involved in growing food. The project encourages social inclusion and is targeted at those who face barriers as a result of physical or mental health conditions, learning disabilities, or simple isolation.
The coronavirus pandemic certainly highlighted the need for social and therapeutic horticulture. With many of our Community Allotment volunteers already dealing with isolation, anxiety, and other social issues, at the onset of the pandemic they suddenly faced the fear of losing this vital support.
However, our Land & Estates Manager, Karen Heynike, rose to the challenge and initially ran 1:1 or small groups, whenever the guidance allowed, then during the winter months provided a ‘lifeline’ by switching to a virtual programme when small groups were not permitted.
Participants took part in group activities and were kept busy with activity packs and meal-making kits. Between sessions, they received links to interesting podcasts and online talks too. The varied programme gave them the opportunity to learn new skills and helped them remain engaged and better cope with the stresses of the pandemic.
One of the activities that really enthused participants was the goal of creating an NHS rainbow, made entirely with woollen pompoms, to decorate the Community Allotment. Volunteers were so keen, that Karen decided to expand the project to crochet and knitting, with a plan to yarn bomb the allotment site, with not only the NHS pompom rainbow but also a knitted blue sky with crocheted suns, clouds, knitted grass, and lots more including crochet butterflies, bugs and vegetables.
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*A yarn bomb is a form of street art where yarn in any form decorates an object in the public environment. Yarn installations are a bit like graffiti but aren’t permanent or destructive. The craze was started in America by a lady named Magda Sayeg when she covered her doorknob with a knitted cozy and before long started knitting scarves and hats for statues around her home town in Houston.