Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham underlined his green credentials on Wednesday 15th May 2019 by officially opening a health community allotment in Stockport. The allotment project in Woodley first took roots about two years ago when local couple, David and Julie Ashton, were helped through their own medical problems by their GPs Health Champions.
They were so impressed at what the Alvanley Family Practice Health Champions were doing that they decided that wanted to give something back. As keen gardeners they wanted to use the skills and experience they had, and with the backing of their fellow Champs, they hit on the idea of a community allotment and so the project began.
Stockport Council pitched in by giving them, for free, a much-neglected allotment plot and The George Cox Foundation initially created the basic infrastructure for the allotments out of some very overgrown land.
The foundation was approached again by the residents for some further help and it was seen as a great opportunity to provide on-the-job training for our Apprentices.
The requirement was to provide pedestrian access around the site using a combination of paving and tarmac. This gave the apprentices the chance to learn about levels, designs, block paving and surfacing techniques.
The allotment committee have given fantastic feedback regarding their attitude, commitment to the project and the finished result.
David commented “It’s a great space for local people to use and is adding to the real sense of community that we already have in Woodley thanks to the Health Champions. You don’t have to be a patient of the Alvanley Family Practice to come here everyone is welcome.
Officially opening the allotment Andy Burnham said “The Alvanley Family Practice with their Health Champions are showing us the future of primary care. We love the NHS but for it to survive in the future it needs to provide more than medication and projects like this community allotment show just what can be achieved.”
Alvanley Family Practice’s Dr Mark Gallagher said “Today is not about the practice but rather about our amazing community. We have nothing but pride and admiration for our wonderful volunteers who, by freely giving their time and dedication, are creating something for everyone to be a part of.”
Plans for the allotment include a multi-purpose large shed, with plumbed in facilities, which will be used for a variety of Champion run community activities. This is being funded by a £10,000 grant from Stockport Council’s Local Fund.