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Local volunteers praised for allotments initiative

Local volunteers praised for allotments initiative

A group of community volunteers have been praised for setting up an ‘allotment watch’ scheme helping make their neighbourhood safer and more attractive for residents.

The Brediland Allotments Group were supported by a grant of £4,618 from the Safer and Stronger Renfrewshire Partnership to fund planting, development work with local residents and equipment for the volunteers help combat vandalism.

The group carried out a questionnaire and leaflets with local residents on the security of the area and encouraging them to contact the police and Renfrewshire Wardens Service if they saw problems arise in the area.

The questionnaire was well received and both police and community wardens were invited to the site to talk about problems taking place and give advice on how to prevent further incidents.

The grant also funded eight volunteers to go on training courses, allowed the group to buy safety helmets and hi visibility jackets and helped pay for renovations to the front gate of the allotments site, which included new planting to make it more inviting.

Eileen Reid, Brediland Allotments Secretary, said: “This has been a great project for getting the community to work together. We made contact with local residents through the questionnaire which got a really positive response and we’ve received many comments from neighbours about how much more inviting the place looks thanks to all the work we’ve done.

“We also had community days to clear the front gate entrance and do the replanting and the community service team were excellent in their help clearing the way of rubbish and over grown brambles etc for the fencing supplier to install the new fences. They also greatly contributed to planting an anti-vandal barrier on the outside of the new fencing.”

The Safer and Stronger Renfrewshire Partnership is made up of Renfrewshire Council, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership and other local organisations.

Their aim is to work together to make Renfrewshire a safer place to live, work and visit and to encourage and empower communities to work with them.

The Brediland Allotments Group is just one example of local communities in Renfrewshire engaging in volunteering projects and contributing to making their neighbourhoods greener and safer.

Now there is even more opportunity for community groups or charities to get involved in as 2011 has been named European Year of Volunteering by the European Commission.

In order to celebrate it small grants have been made available to promote the work of volunteers in Scotland. The funding is open to community groups and voluntary organisations with an annual income below £250,000 and groups with an income below £100,000 will be considered a priority.

To find out more, please contact Paisley Partnership Regeneration Company by e-mailing info@paisley-partnership.co.uk or calling 0141 887 7707.