Fife firm’s support has helped provide therapy through an allotment which has grown leaps and bounds since its first year
Support from Fife-based Kettle Produce has helped a community-led allotment in Alloa double in size – helping a small community overcome some of the challenges surrounding poverty, health, education and anti-social behaviour.
For the past four years, the vegetable packing and processing firm has provided vegetable plants and seeds, supervised their planting and sowing, and given locals visiting the Community Centre in Hawkhill help and advice to look after plants and crops.
Its input runs in tandem with Police Scotland’s Scottish Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU) ‘assets-based approach’, which has been running in the area since 2011 to identify and build on positive elements of the community to make sure everyone works together to make life better for the people of Hawkill.
Pearson Whyte and Mike Munro from Kettle Produce’s field team say they enjoy their work with the community and the chance to share some of their top tips.
Field & procurement director Pearson Whyte said: “Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit was looking for a partner to help with vegetable production at its local allotment in Hawkhill, Alloa. Keith helped start the ‘Man Up’ group and he and I knew each other, and the business involvement and support from Kettle Produce grew from there. Keith is still very involved in helping the community and overseeing the community asset project.
“As a business, we are very happy to support community-led projects, especially projects involving vegetable growing. The allotment at Alloa encourages the development of new skills, whilst encouraging a healthy diet for all connected with the community centre.”
Inspector Keith Jack from the VRU added: “Pearson and Mike from Kettle Produce have ably supported local residents in Hawkhill, Alloa to develop their community garden for the past four years. As well as supplying lots of plants and seeds, crucially, they have both generously offered their time and expertise, which is invaluable. They have become great friends of the locals and are a great example of how big business can work alongside small communities and make a real difference. The allotment is a real asset for the Hawkhill Community Centre”
As well as the community allotment and garden, the VRU has helped the community set up men’s and women’s groups, a women’s football team, and an indoor bowling group.
The emphasis is on local people getting involved, building their self-confidence and self-esteem and being empowered to do things for themselves.