The Health Champions, who offer support to patients to lead healthier lifestyles, had already applied for a plot at Clarksfield Allotments when they heard Joe Maiden’s offer on BBC Radio Leeds. Joe explains:
“My good friend wants to help communities by establishing twenty community orchards. He believes the orchards can be a catalyst for communities to come together share the looking after of the trees and share the fruits. And he’s put his money where his mouth is.”
The Beeston group applied and were delighted to be selected to receive trees, plants and advice. The plot will soon contain four apple trees, two plums, 2 cherries and two pears as well as a selection of raspberry, strawberry gooseberry and blackcurrant plants. Linda Hepworth, one of the Health Champions said:
“Tending an allotment gives people all sorts of health benefits including gentle exercise, social interaction, improved gardening skills. We will share the produce and encourage healthy eating. We also plan to take cuttings and grow on plants to give to other community groups.”
Dr Adam Grice, GP registrar at City View agreed:
“This is a very good project for the community. It will really help promote health and well being.”
As well as helping to stock and plant the mini orchard, Joe Maiden has given the group a challenge: they’ve to enter the 2015 Leeds Flower and Produce Show and produce two trestle tables laden with fruit and vegetables from the allotment.