What is People's Patch?
People's Patch is student led volunteering project based on Coldhams Lane allotment, where we sustainably grow vegetables for Jimmy's, the homeless charity based next to Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge campus.
Why join People's Patch?
Through volunteering with us, you get to give something back to the community and know exactly where your efforts are going. You’ll see the changes you can make to the patch – and the wonderful things you can grow when you have a really good volunteering team.
It's a great way to get out of the house, or student halls. University life can be stressful, and sometimes student halls especially can get stuffy, so volunteering at an allotment in the fresh air can help to clear your head and gain some perspective.
Volunteering is an excellent attribute to any CV, as it shows you have utilised various different skills, including team work and communication.
Our volunteering group is a small but friendly group of people, who are passionate about the cause and we encourage environmentalism, sustainable living and open mindedness.
What do we grow?
This year we have grown and harvested a range of crops, such as onions, garlics and leeks, potatoes, runner beans, courgettes, strawberries, gooseberries and rasperries. We also have squashes, carrots and tomatoes slowly catching up, which will be ready to harvest soon. We have been keeping track of the produce with a spreadsheet and we have donated around 21kg since taking over – there is much more to come, as we have the potatoes to harvest soon.
One of our biggest triumphs since taking over the patch in the early spring has been clearing the severely overgrown weed infested patch. It took a few hours and there were 4 of us who worked in the sunshine together and cleared the patch.
Most of us learnt how to garden while working on the allotment, so if you are worried about lacking experience, don’t be. We are always happy to help and you’ll learn fast – the plants are good at letting you know what they need! Another great thing about our group is that you don’t have to commit all of your free time, and as long as there is a session on, you are welcome to come and go!