Boro Taxis has demonstrated its commitment to the wider community by supporting a scheme that encourages residents to grow their own food.
It has made a donation to a ‘Street Eats’ project, which is a Tees Valley-wide food growing initiative, managed by social enterprise Groundwork NE & Cumbria.
The gardens and allotments at Westfield Farm, Dormanstown, which is owned by Coast & Country Housing, are one of three Redcar and Cleveland locations to host monthly horticultural sessions in each of the three project areas. Produce, grown on site, is offered to those who take part in the activities, with the surplus being sold at low prices to residents or given to local food banks.
Training is hands-on, inspiring adults and children to grow and cook vegetables and fruits, from potatoes and carrots to strawberries and gooseberries. Added benefits include raising awareness of healthy eating and greater community cohesion.
Participating residents are provided with all tools, materials, plants and seeds they need to make the project a success.
The project aims to engage with 100 households plus members of the wider communities in the Loftus, Lingdale and Dormanstown areas, during the lifetime of the project.
Mohammed Bashir, founder of Boro Taxis, one of the largest private hire taxi firms in the North East, said: “Boro Taxis is proud to be part of Teesside and as a result is keen to help worthwhile local causes. Groundwork’s ‘Street Eats’, which is truly life-enhancing, epitomises the sort of initiatives we are keen to support.
“It is fantastic that communities can come together and learn how to produce healthy foods.”
Sarah Ransome, Groundwork Senior Project Officer, said: “This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to learn more about growing their own fresh food and to cook it in a healthy way.
“Whether people are using gardens or allotments or have a tiny space on their windowsill for herbs, ‘Street Eats’ will provide all the help and support they need as well as regular opportunities to make friends, swap experiences, share spare produce and learn new skills.”
Kate Culverhouse, Groundwork NE & Cumbria Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted with the success of this valuable community project that provides residents with the resource and knowledge to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs.
“Partnerships with like-minded organisations, such as Coast & Country, are central to Groundwork’s ability to change lives and change places.
“We would like to thank Boro Taxis for its support and its recognition of our project.”
Barry McBride, Westfield Farm Co-ordinator, Coast & Country Housing, said: “The wellbeing of residents is an integral aspect of the Coast & Country ethos. “Westfield Farm provides communal areas for residents and visitors to socialise and enjoy fun and valuable experiences through the ‘Street Eats’ project.”
Groundwork NE & Cumbria secured about £178,000, from the National Lottery Reaching Communities Fund, to implement the three-year project.
Any residents interested in joining the project should contact Laura Henry at Groundwork on 01642 815663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an expression of interest form.
Photo: l to r, Christine Bell (Boro Taxis), Hary Slattery (volunteer), Barry McBride (Coast & Country), Laura Henry (Groundwork Trust) and Sarah Ransome (Groundwork Trust).