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22nd Sep 2020
Claire Sanders right and her daughter Rosie at the community allotment at Heacham sm

A community allotment in Heacham set up to enable local children to experience the mental and physical benefits of gardening is all set to be able to raise its own seedlings, after it was given a community grant from Broadland Housing Association.

The £515 grant will enable ‘The Magick Patch’, set up by former hairdresser Claire Sanders and her teaching assistant daughter Rosie, to buy a greenhouse for the site.

The community allotment was established last winter by Claire, who had herself experienced the therapeutic power of gardening when she was signposted to the King’s Lynn community allotment run by mental health charity Mind after being diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

“There are so many children who suffer from anxiety or depression, or who have special needs, and this has been made worse by the whole coronavirus pandemic,” she said. 

“Gardening is a really effective way of helping them realise that their feelings will eventually pass, and that they will get through it.”

The allotment was launched at the start of 2020 following an initial grant from Broadland Housing Association, which is Claire’s landlord, and with further help from Tesco and a number of local businesses.

Now Broadland Housing’s Community Fund grants panel, which is made up of fellow tenants, has awarded a second grant to buy the greenhouse.

“This is such an innovative and positive project,” said Paula Strachan of Broadland Housing Association.  “Claire, Rosie and her team have put such a lot of effort into getting the allotment up and running, and to keep it going during the long weeks of lockdown.

“Their enthusiasm, and the obvious need that the project meets, really struck a chord with our residents grant panel, and we are delighted to be giving a second grant to The Magick Patch.”

More details about The Magick Patch community allotment can be found by searching ‘The Magick Patch’ on Facebook.