Hull Youth For Christ
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"How does your garden grow?"

Over the last year we have seen a dream that many have held for a long time, of transforming the dumping ground at the back of the parish hall into a useable, productive space, become a reality. The dream became a plan and the plan is slowly becoming our community garden. While much of the hard graft has been done by teenagers from our youth groups we are now starting to see the wider HYFC family get involved in using and tending to the garden as it's potential starts to unfold.

This has been particularly exciting for the parents at our Tuesday morning group. With the help of Andy Paxton from SEARCH we have been broadening our cooking repertoires and kitchen skills whilst attempting to undertake a complete 'grow it, cook it, eat it' cycle. These comments from the Mums give some idea of what the sessions have meant to them:

I have enjoyed having a catch up with everyone that goes and having a good laugh. The community garden is a fab idea. It's got Jay planting his own veg and stuff and even trying new vegs and stuff. KERRY

I have enjoyed taking part in the cooking class and learning new skills. BEV

The cooking is great as you get the opportunity to cook things what you was scared to cook before and the garden is a great idea as its gets the kids out in the fresh air and showing the kids where fruit and veg comes from. GEMMA

It's been great learning new skills and healthy ways of eating for our kids and also nice to be involved with other people and not alone all the time. ANGIE

These quotes highlight some of the wide array of benefits that are being enjoyed as a result of the cooking sessions and garden. In a community like ours the ability to cook healthy meals from scratch on a budget is like gold dust; families often live off takeaways and processed ready meals because they lack the knowledge, confidence and finances to do anything else. This, in turn, has implications for the health of future generations.

The Tuesday group continues to be a place where we see parents come out of themselves as they find that they can do things they never believed themselves capable of achieving and bloom under the encouragement and care of one another. Lonely and isolated individuals come for a cooking lesson and find they also gain a network of support and reassurance from others. So, as spring turns to summer, the garden is growing, individuals are thriving and the group's sense of community is flourishing.