Mohamed Riaz, a previous Rotherham College English student, along with his brother, has started work on a community garden space in a large area at Broom Valley Allotment. Plans for the garden include several large growing patches for fruit and vegetables that will then be donated to local homeless shelters and charities, a water feature and multiple seating areas for people to relax.
Mohamed said, “My brother and I started this project after being diagnosed with a progressive eye condition that has left us registered blind with our remaining vision greatly reduced. Socialising with the allotment community greatly helped with our wellbeing and rehabilitation in coming to terms with our condition.
“We felt immense satisfaction from growing our own food and it gave us escapism from the day-to-day hustle and bustle. We aim to bring these benefits and more to the community, also creating a sense of inclusion and bringing together all our differences and diversity.”
Other beneficiaries of the project will include the service users of Rotherham and Sheffield Sight and Sound, service users for communities supporting those with learning difficulties in Rotherham and the neighbouring Broom Valley Primary School. Mohamed also hopes the community garden will help promote healthy eating and demonstrate the benefits of growing your own food.
Mohamed added, “We are excited about the project and the positive impact it will have on the people in the community, hopefully changing their outlook on food production for years to come but also just to have a relaxing place to come and spend some time.”
If Mohamed has inspired you take a look at our Land-based Industries courses.