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Community allotment appeals for help after theft

by Gemma Melling

A community allotment in Whiston is appealing for help after thieves stole £4,000 worth of equipment.

Halsnead Community Allotments, on Pennywood Drive, has a number of plots which are used by community groups and school children.

Looked after by volunteers the plots have become a fantastic community resource, especially for the local children, who have learned not only to grow vegetables but been encouraged to eat more of them too!

Tina Cinnamond, Chairperson of Halsnead Community Allotments, said: “One of our rules is that the plots are for groups, not individuals, and as well as local community groups Halsnead Primary School has their own plot.”


Getting children growing

“We try to grow a variety of different vegetables with the children to let them see how they go from seed to their food and for lots of the children it’s the first time they’ve seen a vegetable growing in the ground,” said Tina. “One child actually said once that he thought carrots only came out of tins, until he saw one grow!

“In the past we’ve also grown sunflowers with the children. They have an apple tree on their school plot and have also grown strawberries and raspberries.”

As well as discovering the joy of growing their own the children also use the allotments as an education tool in lessons.

“They use the site for lessons such as maths – measuring or counting crops – or learning about weather and nature using a rain gauge and plotting rainfall on a graph. They’ve also come here for art, drawing some of the things here that they find interesting.”

As well as the schoolchildren, the plots are also used by other local community groups including F.L.A.P (Facing Life And Pain), Parent Patch – a school parents’ group, The Bees Knees, Prescot Community Church, Cronton Group and Admiral – a local residents group.


Future under threat

But Tina fears that unless the group can replace the equipment stolen in the recent theft – which included two petrol lawnmowers, a strimmer, hedgecutters and a jetwash, the group will be unable to continue to maintain the site meaning the children may be unable to use it.

“That would be such a shame and would have such a negative impact on the children,” says Tina.

How can I help?

Friends of Halsnead Allotment Group is now appealing for anyone who can help replace their stolen equipment, make donations towards the cost or help with fundraising.

Tina says: “Since the robbery we’ve had an electric lawnmower donated from a lady and her dad from Dentons Green in St Helens, which is great.

“We would ideally like petrol tools but any tools at all will be very greatly appreciated.”

If you can help, or if you would like to find out more about the community allotments and the work of the Friends, visit their Facebook page, or call Tina on 07866582582. You can also tweet them @FOHallotments. You can also email Tina Cinnamond at tinacinnamond@googlemail.com