Southend children's allotment achieves national recognition after growing community spirit

21 July 2010

The Children’s Allotment in Southend has received a funding boost of £2,000 and been named runner-up in this year’s Community Project Awards.

The Children’s Allotment was named as a finalist selected from 82 projects nominated from across the UK which demonstrate how churches engage with social initiatives within the community.

Project founder Elaine Stevens was presented with the award by national church and home insurer Congregational & General, at the annual United Reformed Church General Assembly.

The Children’s Allotment was created 18 months ago on unused land within the church boundary. This gives children access to green areas where they can grow their own plants and vegetables, which are then sold in the locality for a nominal amount. Donations form a major part of the projects income.

Elaine said: “We are pleased that our small church allotment has received this award. There are so many children in the local area who do not have gardens or green areas where they can grow plants and see nature at work first hand, and our Children’s Allotment provides them with a place that they can make their own.”

Congregational & General Insurance Marketing Manager, Margaret Slater, said: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives such as the Children’s Allotment that really make a difference and unite people of all backgrounds. Elaine’s commitment to developing a place for local children to grow their own plants and produce is an inspiration and we are pleased to provide a funding boost to this project.”

Val Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church (URC), and one of the judges added: “The standard of entries at this year’s Community Awards was very high, and each of the prize winning organisations have made a real impact in their local area – showing God at work in small details and large visionary projects. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, life-giving projects have grown out of local URC congregations and we’re proud to provide Asylum Justice with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue their important community work.”