Healthy eating message at Grow@Jigsaw Open Day
Published by Slough for Westward Housing Group in Housing
Volunteers at Grow@Jigsaw open day
There was food for thought on offer as the Bideford Project ‘Grow@Jigsaw’ opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, 20th August for a Health and Well-Being Day.
The horticultural social enterprise scheme, based in Victoria Park, is run by Westward Housing Group and the project is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm selling plants and produce grown on site.
The project offers support, training and real work experience for the general public and those who require additional support within the local community. Volunteers learn all about horticulture from experts and are ‘hands on’ growing plants and produce to sell.
Grow@Jigsaw Team Leader Ann Davies said the Open Day was all about celebrating and showcasing the work of the project as well as promoting the opportunities it offers including, training, work experience and volunteering.
The events aim was to promote health and well-being together with the opportunity to purchase fresh locally grown produce and there was a range of information and advice from local organisations.
Suzanne, a volunteer at the project for seven months, said Grow@Jigsaw had helped give her a routine and working experience after difficulty in finding employment. “I couldn’t get a job so thought I would do this. I like gardening and was walking round the place and met Ann and asked if I could volunteer. I am now doing a course in Horticultural Therapy and l am confident that it will help to secure employment in the future.”
Fellow volunteer Philippa found out about Grow@Jigsaw during an Open Day two years ago and has been helping out ever since. She works part-time as a teaching assistant and said: “I attend once a week and sow seeds, plant and pick crops. It is very rewarding.”
Westward’s North Devon Support Service manager Bill Allen, who found the service said it was pleasing to see it continue to go from strength to strength.“It is all about outcomes for individuals, helping people’s self-esteem, mental health and getting them to where they want to be,” he said.
Representatives from the local NHS Trust were also on hand to promote healthy eating, the benefits of physical exercise and to help people quit smoking.
Bideford Tesco supermarket was also promoting the health eating message with lots of fresh food to sample and Torridge Council for Voluntary Service, Devon and Somerset Fire Service and Devon and Cornwall Police were in attendance to promote their services.