Celebrating success of Sheffield community allotment with a Big Lunch

Hard-working volunteers took some time out to celebrate the growing success of a Sheffield community allotment.

Monday, 6th June 2016, 3:32 pm
Updated Monday, 6th June 2016, 3:53 pm
Big Lunch event and annual open day at Firth Park Community Allotments. Pictured are Dot Rodman, Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Denise Fox, and Gill Furniss MP. Photo: Chris Etchells

Special guests including Lord Mayor of Sheffield Denise Fox joined families at Firth Park Community Allotment for a Big Lunch picnic.

The event is part of a national initiative and was organised in part to celebrate the work of the many volunteers who have helped create a vibrant inner-city garden space which now hosts all sorts of activities for the community.

Big Lunch event and annual open day at Firth Park Community Allotments. Pictured are Dot Rodman, Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Denise Fox, Claudia Kuntze, and Isabel Watson, four. Photo: Chris Etchells

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Invitations were sent to a variety of other community groups, many of which had helped develop the allotments.

Today’s top stories:

Big Lunch event and annual open day at Firth Park Community Allotments. Pictured are Dot Rodman, Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Denise Fox, Claudia Kuntze, and Isabel Watson, four. Photo: Chris Etchells

Project worker Dot Rodman said: “It was lovely - we had some really good comments and there was a lovely community feel.

“The food was very reflective of the different communities that we serve.

“I’ve worked in childcare for 40-plus years and I’ve never seen anything like this. What the families get out of it is exceptional.”

The idea to create a community allotment first came about in 2005 with a suggestion from a Firth Park resident. Sure Start and Heeley City Farm took on two overgrown allotments and with the help of volunteers from the local community and all over Sheffield, a tangle of bind weed and bramble was transformed into a working site open and accessible to all ages

The friendly space is open to all, but focuses on families with children under five. Among the many activities on offer are gardening, cooking, and creative activities such as den-making, painting, wildlife spotting and junk modelling.

The produce grown at the allotment is shared out at the sessions or cooked up in the shed kitchen so everyone can have a taste.

Following her visit, Lord Mayor Coun Fox said: “This is a great community initiative that will help many people. It was really good to come along and meet everyone involved. There’s a lot of good work being done here and I hope people benefit from and enjoy the support it gives.”

The Big Lunch is a national scheme that aims to bring communities together. For the Firth Park volunteers it acts as their biggest open day of the year.