Help with creating and developing school allotments

As spring unfolds, following a winter that has felt more like an epoch than a season, many of us will be eagerly returning to our gardens.

Reepham High School allotment. Photos: The Papillon Project

The benefits of gardening are well known: common sense, anecdote and academic research all reveal the same truth – being outside, hands on with nature, is good for both our physical and mental health.
A desire to see as many young people as possible benefit from the opportunities and outlook that gardening provides has shaped the unique charitable purpose of the Papillon Project, that of establishing and developing secondary school allotments.
When Matt Willer established the Allotment Project at Reepham High School in 2015 he had little idea how successful the project would become.
Currently, the Papillon Project works with 32 schools across Norfolk, reaching thousands of young people to help them understand and develop skills in food production, horticulture, environmental awareness, communication and teamwork.
At other times Papillon allotments simply provide a different type of space for young people, one in which they can relax, away from technology, examinations and the myriad pressures of modern life.
The allotments at Reepham High School are growing from strength to strength, not exactly a “jewel in the crown” of the Papillon Project, but certainly a “cabbage in the compost”.
The Papillon Project employs a small team who transform land to create new plots, help maintain the productivity of established allotments and support schools with educational enrichment on the allotments.
However, to maintain the charity the project relies for its success on a great number of volunteers, both on the allotment and in the “office”.
These stalwarts enable the school allotments to thrive, the charity to grow and young people to cultivate food for themselves and their local community.
Gardens demand a lot in terms of time, effort and knowledge. Without the time, work and insight of its volunteers the wonderful resources the Papillon Project freely provides schools and young people with could not continue.
For more information about the Papillon Project (charity no. 1189383) or to enquire about volunteering, please visit the website or contact by email.

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