LOCALS from BEST Community Connections and Brighter Access had no problem getting their hands dirty alongside Glen Industries at the BEST Food garden last week. All hands were on deck as the team got to work sowing spring tomatoes.
“It's all about social inclusion,” BEST social programs co-ordinator Danny Middleton said.
“It’s everyone getting together to benefit their local community.”
The food grown in the garden is delivered to pensioners around the district, providing them with fresh, free vegetables once a week. Members of Connections and Brighter Access are among many who help sort and deliver the veggies; a diverse group which includes people with disabilities, children, the unemployed and McLean Care residents.
“The clients really enjoy doing it and going to the door and delivering the veggies and that to the older people. They're really friendly to them,” Connections support worker Jason Leece said.
“It’s really good for the community to get to know our guys.”
Abby Hooker, Brighter Access support co-ordinator, agreed.
It’s everyone getting together to benefit their local community.Danny Middleton
“They love it. They participate in Tree Tenders every week, sorting the veggies and getting them out to people.” Abby said it was fantastic for the clients to be involved in all aspects of the food production process.
“It’s really exciting for them. They get a real sense of achievement knowing that they actually helped grow the food - not just pick it and deliver it,” she said.
Abby said Brighter Access encourage their clients to help out the less fortunate, and are active in many other community outreach programs, such as Meals on Wheels. She said contributing to the community gave the clients “a real sense of purpose”.
The tomatoes will be moved to Glen Industries in another big community effort in October, where the organisation’s hot houses will protect them from fruit fly.