The allotment in Salford giving veterans a fresh purpose

An allotment in Eccles that is helping veterans improve their wellbeing has been paid a visit by Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett as part of an open day earlier this week.

The Allotment for Veterans in Tindall Street was set up by ex-serviceman Vinny Neild earlier this year to give other veterans a special place in the community to find a new lease of life.

The City Mayor was shown around the once disused site which Vinny and other veterans have transformed into a thriving allotment where fresh vegetables are grown.

Local landlord ForHousing has backed the project, donating £5,500 funding for a shed, greenhouses and garden sleepers and is holding First Aid training for all volunteers.

Property maintenance firm, Liberty, which like ForHousing is part of the ForViva Group, contributed £5,000 of materials. Staff dug out a pathway that has made the site safe and accessible and helped to raise the garden beds, one of which even looks like a Royal Navy warship.

Vinny Neild, the driving force behind the allotment, said: “Life after service can be tough. I set up the allotment to help other veterans find a purpose and it’s great to see my dream come to life.

“We started with an old rundown plot and now, a few months on, we’ve transformed it into an allotment we can all be proud of. We’re really grateful for the support of ForHousing, Liberty and everyone in the community who has got behind this, we couldn’t have done this without you.”

A Royal Navy veteran and regular visitor Mark*, said: “It’s so peaceful here, a space you can really feel calm and also experience the banter from fellow veterans that you so miss from being in the forces. I haven’t had much experience with gardening before, so have learnt a lot whilst here as the guys share their knowledge. I look forward to my weekly visit.”

Other partners that have got behind the project include charity Foundation 92, local businesses like Eclipse scaffolding, Smiths Hire and Grade 1 scaffolding and fencing and Salford City Council.

Martyn Hague, Director of Customer at ForHousing said: “It’s fantastic to see how the whole community has come together and got behind the allotment. It’s having such a positive impact – Vinny has created a unique place that’s really benefiting the wellbeing of veterans.

“We’re passionate about improving lives at ForHousing and are proud to support this project which I have no doubt will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “It was a real pleasure for Councillor Kelly and I to visit the Allotments for Veterans site and see the great work that Vinny and the team are doing down there in support of our veterans.  The piece of land on Tindall Street allotments has been transformed into a haven for our veterans who want to come together to work on the plot.  I wish them every success for the future.”

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