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  1. ITV Report

Time to get growing! Community allotment for those with disabilities

Six islanders are taking part in the scheme, all aged between their 20s and 60s. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Islanders with learning disabilities are getting the chance to grow fruit and vegetables at an allotment in Jersey.

The aim of the project is to boost the mental health of those who may normally feel socially isolated as well as creating a sense of community.

The scheme will run for an hour-and-a-half a week at the Salvation Army base in Gorey, with some of the produce to be turned into soup and given out at the charity's café in St Helier.

Six islanders are currently taking part in the scheme, all of whom are aged between 20 and 70.

One 21-year-old from Trinity says he has had lots of fun taking part so far.

I enjoy helping out with the environment and gardening. I like being out in nature and it's been good getting to know new people.

– Ethan Allen

The project is being supported by Jersey's Learning Disability team and one of the clinical psychologists backing it says the outdoors can help everyone's mental well-being.

This scheme provides community integration though a meaningful activity - it's important that the vegetables goes back into the community via the café. Being active is great for mental health and the project enables us to have conversations with service users which can sometimes be difficult within a clinical setting.

– Dr Sinead Peacock-Brennan, Clinical Psychologist

A member of the Salvation Army has said it is a really rewarding experience to help this group of people in the community garden.

For people who are cared for on a day-to-day basis, there is something special in seeing them caring for the plants as they grow and produce vegetables and fruit that they can take home, and that also help us provide the free soup in our cafe in town every day.

– Salvation Army Lieutenant Richard Nunn.

Any islanders who would like to volunteer with the group are being asked to email Richard Nunn on richard.nunn@salvationarmy.org.uk