Gardening project Inspires young people

Posted on: Tuesday 23 January 2024
allotments project

A new food growing project that aims to support young people to progress in and into education; employment and training, has been launched by the Torfaen Council’s Inspire Project.

Pupils referred from secondary schools in Torfaen are working with the Inspire project to help clean up a disused allotment patch in Coed Eva, Cwmbran.

The initial phase of the project will run up until Easter, with the hope that the young people can start growing a variety of crops in readiness for the warmer months.

They will get the chance to learn valuable life skills, such as gardening, teamwork and problem-solving, whilst working to improve their health and well-being, education and future career prospects.

Year 11 pupil Finlay, from West Monmouth School, has been involved in both allotment projects, he said:

“Being involved with the community project has allowed me to build on my cooking skills as well as enabling me to become more active. I hope more young people like me get to enjoy some of the experiences that I’ve had. I'm hoping to continue with the project and use the skills that I have acquired to help with employment opportunities in the near future."

Building on the success of an Inspire allotment project in Trevethin, the project has engaged over 80 young people in three years and won a 2023 award for its tasty figs.

The Inspire Project has worked with over 500 young people aged 11-20 to date, supporting those most at are at risk of becoming NEET - not in education, employment or training, by providing them with alternative education and training opportunities.

Some of produce grown at the new site will be boxed up and sent to local food bank schemes to help people who are affected by the on-going cost of living crisis.

The project also forms part of a wider initiative where food grown in the plot will be used to help shape menus at an Inspire run training café at Pontypool Civic Centre, for staff, councillors’ and visitors.

Gareth Jones, manager of the Torfaen Inspire Project, said: “We are delighted to launch this new allotment project, which we hope will provide a positive and rewarding experience for all young people involved.”

“We have been supported by the Allotment Association to get the plot and we are also hoping to get Keep Wales Tidy support to help with the redevelopment of the plot to help sustain it going forward. The training cafe is an exciting venture and one that will give more targeted young people new skills and qualifications in cooking and hospitality. We will endeavour to ensure these projects inspire more young people to get involved in growing their own food and help contribute to the healthy diets of people in Torfaen.”

The Inspire project in Torfaen is funded by the Shared Prosperity Fund from UK Government and is part of the Council’s Education Service supporting young people’s Engagement and Progression and NEET prevention work.


Last Modified: 23/01/2024 Back to top