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Sean's story

Sean volunteers at Colin Glen Allotments, Community Garden and Healthy Living Centre in Poleglass, Northern Ireland that provides local residents with the space and resource to grow and cook their own food and create a glorious green space for the whole community to enjoy. 

"I’ve always loved the idea of growing my own vegetables. A friend of mine had an allotment at Colin Glen so I put my name down on the waiting list. At first, I had half a plot and when the other half became available I got that too.

"I sow from seed at home in a greenhouse and then transplant at the plot. That way I know it’s all done organically and I’ve done all the work myself. It’s far more enjoyable than just buying plants.

"Before I started at the allotments I had always eaten traditional vegetables such as cabbage, turnip and carrots. I’ve have now had a go at growing most things and eating stuff that I had never tasted in my life such as courgette, kale and sweetcorn.

"My wife does the main cooking for the family, but I’ve started to do a bit more since I’ve attended the cookery demonstrations at the Healthy Living Centre.

"I’ve made loads of new friends since I started volunteering. There’s a good community spirit amongst the allotment holders. I enjoy helping out around the site in general as well as working my own allotment. I like being here as I feel relaxed and at ease.”

"In the past I’ve suffered from bouts of depression for many years but since I’ve volunteered at the allotments I feel like a different person. Being involved at the allotments has really helped me and means I have more to talk about to my family - it’s the best hobby I’ve ever had."

Groundwork Northern Ireland recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary, marking an incredible milestone that has helped to change the lives and prospects of countless people across NI. 

To find out more about Groundwork Northern Ireland, please visit the website.