20 June 2011
On Wednesday 15th June, Reading West MP Alok Sharma went to Florian Gardens in Southcote to support ‘Reading GrowAllot’ an exciting new community allotment project being run by Food4Families. Reading GrowAllot has fought its way to the final of the Jubilee People’s Millions competition.

Food4Families is a local community project that has created 15 food growing gardens, where parents and children together learn how to grow their own food in a sustainable way. The Reading GrowAllot project will allow local families transform a piece of derelict land at Florian Gardens, Southcote into a thriving community-managed allotment growing fresh healthy food.

The project has got through to the final of the Jubilee People’s Millions contest for the £50,000 lottery grant that is needed to make the project happen. The People’s Millions is a grants programme run by the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with ITV, and the winning project will be chosen in a TV vote on 29th June.

Alok said: “I am very pleased to be supporting the Food4Families Reading GrowAllot initiative to create an allotment garden in Southcote. The allotment garden will help to get families and the community together and will promote healthy eating and healthy living. Many of the local children are really excited about growing their own vegetables and if we can harness this enthusiasm at a young age it will stay with the young people into adulthood. I would definitely recommend everyone to take part in the telephone vote on 29th June to help make Reading’s a winning entry.”

Paul Harper, Chair of the Food4Families Steering Group, said: “We have enthusiastic support from families near this site, but the key to winning this grant for Reading is to get the word out more widely and ask everyone to vote for their local project. We need as many people as possible in Reading to pledge their vote now at www.food4families.org.uk in order to bring this lottery grant money to the local community.”

Photo: Alok Sharma with local Southcote school children at the allotment site