Pictured:  budding gardeners from the Low Moor Community Kids' Allotments in York proudly display their 'Outstanding' certificate in the RHS's 'It's our neighbourhood' competition.

Robina Hodgson (Lightfoot), former Zurich employee in Leeds, currently volunteers through the 'Evolving' programme at Low Moor Community Kids' Allotments in York.

This is a volunteer-run project now entering its 12th year of operation.  During previous years the Kids’ Allotment has received much recognition for the work it does, introducing young children to growing their own fruit and vegetables. The allotment is active between early Spring (mid-March) to Autumn (end of October). Weekly sessions take place on Saturday mornings, 10am–12 noon. 

So what prompted Robina to volunteer?

"What I was really looking for was something working with children or adults, helping them to achieve in whatever form that takes," says Robina. "I do have lots of hobbies and belong to many groups so I really didn't need anything that specifically helps me. That said, there is the wonderful feel good factor when you see a difference and that does, of course, help me!.

This volunteering really does suit me and I am happy to fit in whenever they want me.  The allotment will close down for the winter and I will, of course, be joining them again next season. I have really enjoyed working with the children and this week I am 'in charge' as Angela, the Allotment Co-ordinator, is away on holiday.  The children have produced some incredible produce this year and it is a delight to see them harvesting and taking this home to their parents.

They have also had great success in the various shows in the area taking many 'Firsts' and that’s against the adults! They were also awarded a Level 5 outstanding in the RHS “It’s our neighbourhood” competition. Strangely, the only suggestion for improvement to the project was that they should encourage more volunteering!."