Number One Allotment
Number One Allotment is a safe place where people with learning disabilities can grow vegetables, fruit and flowers with the help of experienced gardeners.
Number One Allotment is an organic gardening project for adults with learning and physical disabilities living in the London Borough of Hounslow. Clients are able to learn gardening skills and grow fresh fruit and vegetables for themselves and their families, thereby gaining self-confidence and a sense of achievement.
The project is based at the Duke's Meadows Allotments, a large open site close to Chiswick House and the River Thames, where the gardening team cultivate several adjacent plots. The project is organised by the Number One Allotment Chiswick Trust (NOACT), a small charity formed by allotment gardeners to enable adults with learning disabilities reap the benefits of community gardening.
The Trust works in partnership with Hounslow Council's Social Care Services who arrange for clients to travel by bus to the allotment accompanied by a care worker. The gardening scheme is one of the services included in Hounslow's new community access initiative, which encourages adults with learning disabilities to become active citizens in the wider community.
Volunteer gardeners work closely with all the clients helping and encouraging them to tackle the many tasks involved in growing an extensive range of allotment produce. Clients spend one day every week gardening at the allotment and enjoy being part of a friendly outdoor community. Over time, they become more sociable, more physically capable and develop a strong connection with the team.
Surplus plants grown by the team are sold to allotment holders to help cover the day-to-day running costs of the project.