Page 60 - ALG Issue 4 2019
P. 60

Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire
Visit by Lord Gardiner to Southend-on-Sea, Wednesday 14th August 2019
      It was 10am and heavy rain was coming down in Rochford near Southend.
Lord Gardiner was due to arrive at 10.42am to visit various allotments
in the Southend area. Thanks to Greater Anglia, the train arrived on time and Lord (John) Gardiner, Kate Corfield – Lord Gardiner’s Private Secretary and Helen Ward – Defra,
duly arrived. Already in attendance was Phil Gomersall, NAS President, Robin Warner committee member Gaynes Park (Manners Way) allotments, Ron Bates, Trustee of Growing Together and Minibus driver, and myself.
The rain started to ease and following
introductions, we went to Manners
Way Allotments and met members
of Huntingdon Disease community allotment, where we enjoyed a welcome cup of coffee. During an entertaining discussion over coffee, I had lost John only to find that he was busy weeding on the plot and talking about the problems of growing good fruit and vegetables. We then had a walk around the site and met plotholders and members of Elm Court communal allotment plot, whose members have physical and learning disabilities. Once again weeding and general vegetable discussion was at
the fore. Already the planned itinerary was out.
I had lost John only to find that he was busy weeding on the plot
On leaving Manners Way we went
to Growing Together (Trust Links) allotment site. Trust Links is a local independent charity for wellbeing and mental health based in South-East Essex. They offer therapeutic gardening, recovery classes, social activities, employment training, and support
to people living with mental health conditions and unpaid carers. We were met by CEO Matt King and some of the members who, with great enthusiasm, showed the site and what had been achieved. Over lunch Matt explained how Trust Links was formed and how it was becoming a role model for other areas with similar issues. Just to be
         60 Allotment and Leisure Gardener

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