A local community group is celebrating after being awarded a grant by the RJS Foundation to support its work to aide poverty and reduce loneliness and isolation.
Meir Matters is celebrating after being awarded £500 for their Sow and Grow project.
Meir Matters is based in Meir and will use the grant to purchase a shelter for the allotment. The shelter will allow the community group to utilise the site all year round.
Michelle Swift, founder of Meir Matters said “Sow and grows long term goal has always been to educate children, aide mental well-being and give more residents access to outdoor activities whilst reducing isolation. Covid really put us back and it’s taken a lot of hard work to get it to the stage we are now. The RJS funding has given us the platform to move forward. We have upgraded and repaired our polytunnels and been able to create more room so we can now also focus on growing plants as well as fruit and vegetables. Thankyou!”
The allotment is focused on bringing people together as a community. The crop will help aide food poverty and reduce loneliness and isolation. Going forward, Meir Matters will educate children and offer toddler sessions, forming partnerships with local nurseries and schools. They will also introduce a gardening club during school holidays and offer lessons for all. They aim to make the allotment eco-friendly, utilising best environmental practices to eliminate the use of electricity and mains water. Their site will also be designed for use by those with physical disabilities.
Meir Matters has been running since 2019 and is currently run by seventy volunteers.
It was founded by Michelle Swift, who also owns Swiftys microbar, which is where the initial relationships were made. Many had the love for gardening but were struggling to manage their own allotments, whilst others were on long waiting lists. Mental health is a key issue in the area and at the time there were many articles on how community gardens and allotments could be used to improve peoples’ mental wellbeing . Works were well underway before Covid-19 hit, but the delay has only buoyed their enthusiasm for the project. The shelter will help members utilise the site all year round and take them one step closer to completing what they started.