Situated on the right-hand side of Hale Road, the Hale Road Allotments in Swavesey were set up on the site of a former arable field. The site has 61 plots, mostly 125m² (22m x 5.7m) in area, with some half-size.
Eight water tanks provide easy access to water for the use of the allotment members. There is also a waterless toilet on site, and cycle racks have been installed to encourage plot-holders to leave their car at home. Rabbit and deer proof fencing surrounds the whole site and a car park is provided for plot holders.
Members come from all backgrounds and are of all ages with plot holders consisting of individuals, couples, and families.
The plot has no toilet facilities. In their own words:
“Many plots have ladies as sole-operators and there are also 34 children under the age of 12 years associated with our site.”
This restriction time limited people undertaking healthy and active lifestyles: It discouraged users, and prevented involvement from nearby schools and colleges.
The group was supported with:
- a series of one to one sessions which involved providing a critical review of their various funding applications and helping to understand what the funder’s were looking to see
- the opportunity to meet with funders and discuss the issues, and
- advice on how to use the various and free grant finder support packages.
As a result of relevant advice and information, the group began a journey which:
- articulated the wider vision that they had for the allotments as playing a bigger and more integral part of the local community
- focussed on healthy and active lifestyles, and
- looked beyond immediate need to the potential outcomes.
Support training and advice led to:
- the group identifying key and relevant funds for their project
- the group understanding the importance of providing evidence of need, and of having measurable and achievable outcomes and involving and consulting people, and
- understanding the benefits of asking support in the critical review of funding applications.
The practical outcome was that money was raised for a waterless toilet.
“Already things are happening as a direct result of winning the toilet. Next week we will have a bunch of Year 8 students and a bunch of Year 9 students on our site from Swavesey Village College to do certain tasks, including building a bug hotel for the thirty four under-12-year -olds associated with our site. They will bring packed lunches so they are comfortably on site all day which they would not have been able to do before the toilet was installed.”
More information about Hale Road Allotments can be found on their website: www.swavesey.org.uk/village-links/allotment-site