Widow of murdered Sheffield organist opens new community allotment

Maureen Greaves at the opening of the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe
Maureen Greaves at the opening of the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe
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The widow of a church organist murdered on Christmas Eve has opened a community allotment as part of a project she set up with her late husband.

Maureen Greaves was surrounded by members of the High Green community as she officially opened the new green space at the Paces Campus on Pack Horse Lane yesterday.

Mike Newsome at the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

Mike Newsome at the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

What was a derelict piece of land nine months ago has been transformed into an allotment for the whole community to use and learn from – with the help of High Green residents.

It is the latest success for the St Saviour’s Community Project, attached to St Saviour’s Church, which Maureen set up with her late husband Alan just months before he was murdered on his way to a church service on Christmas Eve 2012.

Maureen, now an outreach worker for the church, said: “I’ve been wanting to help our community develop skills in growing food for a long time.

“Our community project already runs a foodbank and the Friday Feast, a meal that only costs £1 per adult and children eat free, which is our contribution to fighting child poverty.

Stuart Cole works on the raised bed at the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

Stuart Cole works on the raised bed at the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

“But I want to help people to grow food, get their hands dirty, build community and have fun together.”

A range of plants, including crops, have already been planted at the allotment, with more to come. Anyone who wants to learn how to grow their own food is welcome to visit, lend a hand and get some advice.

There is also a large shed which people can use for a break and a chat.

Church vicar and chairman of the community project Simon Bessant said: “It’s quite amazing because the place was a total scrubland nine months ago.

Mike Newsome waters the vegetables at the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

Mike Newsome waters the vegetables at the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

“It’s been great to see so many folk in the community come along and get stuck in.

“It’s about building community. I hope it’s a place where people are going to meet up.”

St Saviour’s Community Project plans to work with the nearby Paces centre for children cerebral palsy and other motor disorders, inviting youngsters to get involved at the allotment.

The opening of the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

The opening of the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

Peter Greaves at St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

Peter Greaves at St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

The opening of the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

The opening of the St Saviour's Church community allotment. Picture: Andrew Roe

Maureen Greaves with husband Alan

Maureen Greaves with husband Alan