The Allotment Angels project is part of the Include Me 2 Club SCIO – an award-winning volunteer-led Scottish charity working with children, young people and adults who have additional support needs and disabilities across East Renfrewshire, Glasgow and Renfrewshire.

Location: Barrhead, Glasgow

The allotments are located in-between a railway line and apartment buildings in the East End of Glasgow, are part of the Reidvale Community Allotments and before the Allotment Angels took over, the beds and surrounding area were very overgrown, covered in weeds, junk and debris. The group have since transformed the space into a thriving Scottish country garden and allotment for the whole community to enjoy.

The lead gardener volunteers at the plot up to 30 hours a week with other dedicated volunteers. Adam, the projects head gardener, has a severe and complex learning disability yet thrives in the garden, volunteering over 1,000 hours come rain, wind or shine. Other volunteers include men from sheltered housing – which has helped combat loneliness-and local residents.

The group have created a Scottish country garden with perennials, four raised beds with over 40 vegetables, a sensory pathway, a pond using old upcycled bath, picket fences, a gazebo with roof and upcycled chairs.

The garden is also home to an array of wildlife including blue and great tits, chaffinches, bees, great admiral peacock butterflies and tadpoles. This space is now a beautiful, community space where everyone is welcome.

Paul McIlvenny, Chairperson, said:

Being a finalist is an amazing achievement for the charity and specifically the Allotment Angels project. It’s a fantastic for the team led by Susan Wilson our lead volunteer, who dedicates so much energy and time to the project, and the wider team of volunteers and helpers. The Allotment has made such an impact in the community and amongst the local people who stop off for a chat, a cup of tea, get a few tomatoes or potatoes, some even get involved from sitting isolated and lonely in the house. We are all so excited to be shortlisted for the award and the impact that the project continues to have for so many.”