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Heads Up Allotment Group

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16 March 2023

OT assistant and keen gardener, Anotnia, explains why she's so excited to get started with the allotment group.

Antnonia says,

"It had always been a goal of mine to be self-sufficient and reduce my carbon footprint.

During the social distancing period of Covid, it really hit home to me just how important the outdoors was to me and I didn't realise how much I took it for granted. So in April, last year, when a local plot became available I signed the contract and the rest is history.

The allotment has taught me so much, I've learned how to provide for myself and my family using a little packet of seeds and I've learned so much about how to care for a variety of plants. What one species might love another hates and it has been so interesting learning about all the requirements that each variety needs.

It's also been great exercise and is a great way to keep fit.

Our allotment site is owned by a group of trustees who live on the street and the community that they have is just incredible. One day I might pop down to do some jobs and end up having a brew with a few of the trustees, or having a catch up with some of our other friends who have plots on the land. It is a really lovely place to meet and connect with people.

Our allotment has become so much more to me than just a place to grow veg. It has become an escape, a little safe-haven, where I often go to unwind and reset. After a busy day or a difficult week I will take a flask of coffee up there and me and my dog Oscar will just sit and watch the world go by. Listening to the birds, watching the bees and just enjoying the peace and comfort. I always feel so much better once I leave.

With our Heads Up Allotment project, I am hoping that we can provide a similar sense of comfort that I have found from my own plot and build our own community of like-minded people who can enjoy the space as well as each other's company.

- learn how to grow plants and vegetables
- provide a safe and comfortable environment for people of all abilities to enjoy gardening
- meet new/ like-minded people
- relax/unwind in nature
- gentle exercise
- improve coordination/mobility
- work as a team
- take home organic and home-grown produce
- potentially do on-site cooking in the future
- enjoy ourselves
- Improve mental and physical health
Overall, the most important thing to me when I took on my allotment was to have an outdoor space to enjoy, the benefits of being outdoors is so important and every other aspect that has come on the back of my allotment has just been an amazing bonus. I am hoping that our Heads Up project can be as much a 'safe haven' for our clients as mine has been for me."

How does it work?

  • The allotment group will run every Thursday 1-4pm and Nephra Allotment, Northfield Rd, New Moston, Manchester M40 3RN
  • Sessions are £50 and are billed at the end of every month
  • Support staff or treating therapists are able to attend and participate at no additional cost – there may be occasions where these staff members are asked to step out and not participate depending on the nature of the session and numbers of people involved.
  • The brain injury occupational therapy allotment group is run by an occupational therapy assistant. They are designed to assist with an individual’s rehabilitation from an acquired brain injury.

To book a place at the allotment group or for more information, please email

Antonia's own allotment, looking amazing!

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