If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have already seen the news, but during what is possibly the biggest UK mental and physical health crisis, the first Life at No.27 therapy site which I have poured my heart and soul in to developing and opening with the support of GP’s, social prescribers and incredible volunteers has to suddenly move or close by January.
Why? So more retail spaces and shops can be created on the land of our bespoke allotment therapy site. It is the only outdoor and face to face mental health support aligned to the NHS currently available in Towcester and the surrounding areas. A safe space for those who come to relax, grow their own food, learn new skills, talk, laugh, meet new people and get vital support. Build confidence, self-esteem and purpose whilst connecting with our biggest healer, nature.
Devastated is one of many feelings right now, as having the site open, amazing volunteers joining the team and being aligned to the local GP practices for referrals was a personal dream come true. It took a long time to get to that point, but I got there and the hard work was finally paying off. The ground was starting to support our allotment holders and volunteers, rewarding them with new friends, plenty of produce and building their self-esteem. So, the news has been hard for everyone involved, a definite test of resilience and problem solving abilities. But, with always trying to be positive, I have learnt a lot and have started making steps to find a new home for us in the Towcester, South Northants area, which will be even better!
I have visited two potential land spaces and am waiting to hear back from the council who have been hugely supportive and are hopeful that they might be able to find us somewhere wonderful. Please keep all fingers and toes crossed for us!
That being said, if you know of any land available in the Towcester, Brackley, Silverstone area or perhaps a local farmer who may wish to donate part of their land, please let me know or pass on my details. We need a 40m x 40m space with parking and water access. Ideally we would have toilets and a small building or shelter for activites and private support sessions. The more options we have available to us at this stage the better.
As always I will keep you updated and hopefully share some happy news very soon.
One thought on “Towcester Allotment Therapy Site – Devastating news!”
The sale of allotments is challengeable and given the purpose of the allotment the council has a moral obligation to at least help you identify another site. Only the Secretary of State for Defra (George Eustice), under the Allotments Act can give permission for the sale of a site so you could write to him or launch a petition.
Under AA 1925, a local authority cannot sell, use or otherwise dispose of land which it acquired for use as allotments without first obtaining the consent of the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Secretary of State can only give such consent if s/he is satisfied that adequate provision will be made for allotment holders displaced or that such provision is not necessary or reasonably practicable.