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Award to help youth gardening project


Youth Worker Ben Carpenter receives a cheque for £500 for the Urban Escape Project at Springfield Allotments from Wessex Water's Educational Officer Sue Goodland.
Youth Worker Ben Carpenter receives a cheque for £500 for the Urban Escape Project at Springfield Allotments from Wessex Water’s Educational Officer Sue Goodland.

By Community Reporter Kerrie Nicholson

A Knowle West charity which works with local young people has just been awarded £500 to build a rainwater harvesting system for its gardening project.

Youth Moves, based at The Park, received the Sustainable Watermark Award for its gardening and food growing programme, Urban Escape.

The project has been running for the past two years at Springfield Allotments – where 56 young people aged from eight to 18 have completely transformed an overgrown site.

The plot includes a youth club built by the group from recycled materials. The new rainwater harvesting system will enable members to collect water from its roof to use on the vegetables they have planted in a polytunnel.

Youth Worker at Youth Moves, Ben Carpenter said the new rainwater system, fitted with a timer, would save having to come to the site to water the vegetables every day.

He explained: “It will allow the group to grow bumper crops all year round, so they can learn how to cook a wide variety of recipes and pass these skills onto many other community groups in the wider communities.

“The aim is for the individuals in the community groups to then teach a friend or family member the recipe and spread the grow and cook your own message across South Bristol and beyond!”

Catherine Rowe (12) became involved in Youth Moves four years ago and has been a member of Urban Escape since the start.

She says: “…It is an amazing place offering lots of opportunities and you make lots of friends… I was quite shy when I first joined but my confidence has built a lot.

“This award is going to help our group to carry on running, working with the community and helping more children like me. The water harvesting system will help us to grow more crops more effectively meaning that we can do more with what we grow.”
The Sustainable Watermark Award is funded by Wessex Water in partnership with the Conservation Foundation of which David Bellamy is President. All projects need to be water-related and environmental.

Educational Officer for Wessex Water Sue Goodland visited the site on 10 November  to present Youth Moves with its award.

She said: “(This project) is helping our future generation to understand sustainability and it is so hands-on.”

Youth Moves is looking for people of all ages to join its weekly Urban Escape projects. They run on: Mondays from 4.30-6.30 pm  (8-12 years old); Tuesdays from 11-3pm – adult volunteers  (18 years plus) and Thursdays 5.30-7.30 pm (13-18 years old).

To get involved  contact Ben on 0117 903 9796, email or visit