Northern Ireland Workplace Allotments
A unique new workplace allotment project for civil service staff working at Northern Ireland’s Stormont estate has been launched, with the help of the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.
The Allotment project is aimed at providing staff based at Stormont (the base for the Northern Ireland Assembly) with the opportunity to participate in a healthy, outdoor, recreational activity during their own time. 25 individual plots and one community garden training plot have been created and will be used year round to grow fresh fruit and vegetables
The project was launched by Finance Minister Sammy Wilson. It is hoped the pilot project will be the catalyst for more sites across other public sector workplaces.
Speaking at the launch Mr Wilson said: “I welcome this opportunity to launch the allotment project today. We are the first work place allotment in Northern Ireland which is an achievement in itself and also coincides with the Programme for Government’s strategic priorities for 2011-2015 on improving health and well-being.
“As a keen gardener myself, I can think of no better way to reduce stress levels from a working day than to spending some time outdoors on the allotment. Not only does it provide physical exercise, it also can give a sense of productivity and generate satisfaction when the end results are achieved by growing your own food.
“I would also like to thank the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) and staff within my department for their contribution in bringing this project to fruition. I look forward to seeing the benefits of this scheme and have no doubt that this will contribute to the health and wellbeing to staff which is essential to enable people to reach their full potential.”
FCFCG Northern Ireland development co-ordinator Emma McGuigan said: “The Stormont Estate Allotment project is an innovative way of employers contributing to the wellbeing of their workforce. The Northern Ireland Civil Service is the first employer in Northern Ireland to participate in a work place allotment project, and I hope their participation encourages other businesses to consider rolling out this initiative to their employees.
“I would like to thank the Minister and the Stormont Estate team for all their work in taking this project forward. Minister Wilson has been very supportive from our first meeting back in February and throughout the process. Without his commitment and approval we wouldn’t have this opportunity to bring this project to life."