Volunteers at the Lower Kersal Young People and Communities Group (LKYPCG) in Salford have been supporting their community to live a healthy, more sustainable lifestyle since 2006 when they first started their allotment.
Tommy and Lesley Lever, two of the group’s founders, were shocked when a friend’s child thought potatoes came from a cow! They made it their mission to educate local children about where their food comes from, how it grows, and healthy ways to cook with it.
Groundwork helped Tommy and Lesley get started with their community allotment back in 2006; building the raised planters and providing them with training on growing fruit and vegetables.
The community allotment is now thriving, with residents enjoying the opportunity to grow and eat their own food. As the cost of living continues to increase Lesley recognises that growing and sharing food with your neighbours is one of the best ways to cut costs and become more sustainable and expects a surge of interest in the space over the next few months.
The group have become increasingly aware of the climate crisis, and after being reintroduced to Groundwork at an environmental forum in December 2021. From here they decided to plan a WWF community screening of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet Together.
Thirty-five community members attended the screening in February 2022, which sparked lots of interesting conversations about what the group could do to further their sustainability work, focusing on improving biodiversity.
Improving biodiversity and taking action on climate
The Groundwork team helped LKYPCG to secure a £500 grant from the WWF and the National Lottery Climate Action Fund to purchase:
- Large water butts and guttering to help conserve rainwater.
- Solar-powered water feature to teach young people about renewable energy.
- A wildflower meadow to attract more pollinators to the allotment.
Reactions to the screening
Lesley felt that watching David Attenborough: a Life on Our Planet showed the drastic impacts of climate change and showed that we must look after the planet, and helped open the eyes of other community members that may not have been as aware of climate change.
It also helped Lesley make more connection between her work on the allotment, and how this supports the planet, through biodiversity and growing sustainable food.
Tommy feels that he has learned a lot about climate change from this project.
He was used to seeing news about the climate on the TV and in newspapers for years, but the film truly opened his eyes to what’s happening in the world, and how regular people can help.
Sam says she felt ‘almost as terrified as David Attenborough is’ at the end of the film, because ‘you look at it and think, what have we done?’
She felt particularly impacted by the idea that we are the first generation that can see the impacts of climate change, and make a difference. She hopes that by reaching a huge age range of people, the allotment can give hope to everyone and teach everyone to be more environmentally-conscious.
She feels that some older people believe that the climate emergency is too far gone and there’s nothing they can do about it, and hopes that the film and the allotment will change their minds.
She is a huge fan of the new solar powered water feature, and has noticed the amount of birds and bees attracted towards the pond and the water feature, showing how a simple installation can give back to nature and improve biodiversity.