Lilian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South visited The Salvation Army in Aspley (21 September) to view the support given by the church and charity to the local community.
The Nottingham Aspley Salvation Army launched the Mustard Tree Allotment project two years ago as a project to bring the local neighbourhood together and to provide affordable and healthy produce for the community.
Students from a local school come to help out and local families are invited to events held there, from bonfire parties to afternoon teas. Some of the produce is used to make up food parcels for people in need and the rest of the produce from the allotment is given to the Aspley Smiles Better Community Market.
The market provides local people with affordable access to fresh, organic, locally-grown produce in an area where, apart from one small supermarket, there are no shops selling fruit and vegetables. At the market, people can learn about healthy eating and how to cook the produce on sale. The money that the market makes is put back into the community.
Lilian Greenwood MP said: “At a time when many people in the city are struggling to make ends meet, we need the work of voluntary organisations like The Salvation Army more than ever. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to visit the Mustard Tree allotment and see for myself the valuable work of the Nottingham Aspley Corps.”
Lieutenant Matt Elsey of Aspley Salvation Army said: "The Mustard Tree allotment is an asset for the whole community. We have links with a nearby school and through their enrichment programme, students have come here and painted fences and dug as part of their community and charity work.
“Aspley does not really have the culture of growing your own or cooking fresh fruit and veg. Through Aspley Smiles Better Community Market, we sell our allotment grown produce at a good price with the money then ploughed back into the community.”