Volunteers dig in to improve allotment site

Howdens Joiners members of staff working with Groundwork Northamptonshire at the Green Patch to install new paths and features at the community allotment. L-r Angela Bullock, Steve Speed (Green Patch), Alison Phillips (Green Patch), Michelle Cowan, Sarah Clowes (Green Patch), Hayley Foster, Will Wright, Chris Rhymes
Howdens Joiners members of staff working with Groundwork Northamptonshire at the Green Patch to install new paths and features at the community allotment. L-r Angela Bullock, Steve Speed (Green Patch), Alison Phillips (Green Patch), Michelle Cowan, Sarah Clowes (Green Patch), Hayley Foster, Will Wright, Chris Rhymes

Almost 70 volunteers from a joinery firm have swapped the office for the outdoors to give a popular green space an overhaul.

A total of 65 workers from Howdens Joinery in Brackmills, Northampton, have been improving community allotment the Green Patch, in Valley Walk, Kettering.

The group were working hard today to help to bring much-needed improvements to the site.

Groundwork’s Kate Williams, project manager for the Green Patch, said: “Since Howdens made the announcement they are coming to help out we’ve been on cloud nine.

“It’s such a massive boost to get this investment and to have so many people to help out is just fantastic.

“We’ve been hoping for this improvement for a while.”

Staff from Howdens’ product and marketing team will create a designated nature area and a pond-dipping platform, spruce up fences, build a shed and kitchen and plant a new orchard.

The group also got to work overhauling the compost area and reinforcing pathways for wheelchair access to the pond, as well as making it safer for children.

This is part of a string of charity works the joinery firm carries out each year.

Angela Bullock, product and marketing manager at Howdens, said: “For us, it’s giving something back to the community, and we’ll know that we’ve created fantastic new facilities for people to use.

“Everyone is really focused and getting stuck in straight away, I can’t see anyone just standing around.

“It will also help build team relationships at Howdens too, as a lot of them haven’t worked together previously.”

The Green Patch is the site for a variety of community events, with hundreds of children expected to come through its gates this summer.

The green space also 
has several allotments on it where fresh vegetables are grown.

The site is run by Groundwork Northamptonshire and Kettering Council.

Sarah Clowes, project leader at Groundwork, said: “All the people who use the allotments were all really excited when they were told volunteers were going to help out on the site and build new stuff.

“The whole project will have such a positive impact on the people that use the site.”