Charity enterprise bears fruit (and veg)

East Runton parish clerk Barbara Emery with parish councillors Jane Hodson, Chris Hawkins and Jane B

East Runton parish clerk Barbara Emery with parish councillors Jane Hodson, Chris Hawkins and Jane Bothwell at the official opening of the About with Friends allotment. - Credit: Archant

A group of gardeners with learning disabilities is producing an abundance of fruit and vegetables at a previously neglected allotment.

District councillor for the Runtons Sarah Butikofer opening the new About with Friends allotment

District councillor for the Runtons Sarah Butikofer opening the new About with Friends allotment - Credit: Archant

The plot in East Runton has been transformed in the last few months by green-fingered members of the About with Friends charity.

The remarkable makeover was celebrated this week at the official opening of the allotment on Felbrigg Road.

After clearing away undergrowth and digging up the site, raised beds and plastic matting were installed to make the garden accessible to wheelchair users.

Head gardener Andy Lee said: 'We took the allotment over last October. It had been out of use for years and was totally overgrown. The parish council let us have the plot rent free and provided a donation towards a shed.

Produce grown at the About with Friends allotment in East Runton, which was officially opened this w

Produce grown at the About with Friends allotment in East Runton, which was officially opened this week. - Credit: Archant


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'We have had a good crop for the first year; we are very pleased with it.

He added: 'In the winter when it was a bit of a bog there were a few complaints about why we were doing this. By the time spring arrived and the shed was in place everyone was saying how great it is to be here.'

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North Norfolk district councillor for the the Runtons Sarah Butikofer officially opened the allotment before parish councillors were given the honour of digging up the first crop of onions.

Produce from the allotment is being used at the About with Friends café in Cromer and the community kitchen. The charity's chief executive officer Helen Dalton-Hare said: 'This is fabulous for the members who have worked tirelessly. It must have been incredibly hard work getting the allotment to look like this and providing fresh fruit and vegetables for our catering team.'

About with Friends was founded in 2002 and provides support and skills programmes for children, young people and adults with learning disabilities in north Norfolk.

Are you involved in a special community project? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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