Flintshire has benefited from a cash injection thanks to an environmental grant scheme from Keep Wales Tidy and Tesco.

Digging_Deeside_KWP (7)Volunteers from Digging Deeside were thrilled to hear they’d been successful in applying for an All Wales Grant of £500 which they then used to buy hand tools, seed trays, watering cans, compost, safety equipment and a small stove to refresh thirsty volunteers.

Community groups, schools and charitable organisations across Wales were asked to apply to the All Wales Grant Scheme from November 2014, with grants of £100 – £500 available to help them with their very own green initiatives.

Run by environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy and funded by Tesco’s single use carrier bag charge, the aim of the All Wales Grant Scheme is to assist communities across Wales in real environmental actions, both financially and practically, to help improve their local environment.

As part of their environmental project, Digging Deeside offers an informal outdoor drop in to members of the community who want to get together, socialise, maintain the community gardens and learn new skills. RainbowBiz have secured a raised bed style community allotment at Connah’s Quay Community Allotments for the project. Digging Deeside is a new project which is volunteer run and facilitated by project leaders from RainbowBiz. The project was created as a green outdoor activity to promote healthy lifestyles and well being by learning to grow vegetables and herbs in a safe social environment. Over the last few weeks the volunteers have cleared the allotment area of weeds and planted new vegetables and fruit, which are now blooming! Digging Deeside has now started to help the current volunteers to maintain the Quayscape Community Gardens, so these new tools and equipment will DiggingDeeside_teabreakbe very welcome as we have a large space to maintain. It is hoped that in the future months more volunteers will join the project, as many hands make light work. Digging Deeside has already had some very generous donations from members of the community and local Council. Councillor Eric Faulkner very kindly made a purpose built potting bench for the project after a discussion with project leaders about difficulties that some of the volunteers have with mobility. This will enable wheelchair users to be able to pot plant seedlings comfortably and independently plant these on in the raised bed allotment plot.

The project is still in need of a small lockable wooden shed to keep some basic equipment on site for those volunteers who like to visit the project on a daily basis. If you are able to help the project with any donations, please contact digging@rainbowbiz.org.uk or call 07759 753 473.

DiggingDeeside_KWTgrant (3)Darren Cook, volunteer from Digging Deeside said, “I really enjoyed shopping with Sue and Sarah in various shopping stores in Deeside and Chester for the grant equipment. Digging Deeside is a project for all of the local people of any age or abilities. Meeting or working on the Community Gardens is good for everybody and everything, our nature and our local area. For myself personally it helps me when I chat with other people and make new friends. Also it’s very healthy both mentally and physically, because working with nature is good for my mind and chatting with people and making new friends and looking after and maintaining nature is good for my heart. Being involved with Digging Deeside is very healthy too, especially on a nice day, breathing in fresh air is good for you and the sunshine makes you happy. Keep Wales Tidy were very kind and generous in giving RainbowBiz a grant enabling them to purchase many more things so that hopefully we can accommodate more volunteers with the necessary tools for jobs on the garden or the allotments.”

Lesley Jones, Chief Executive of Keep Wales Tidy, said: “I am delighted that so many groups and environmental projects across Wales have benefitted from a financial boost thanks to the All Wales Grants Scheme. It’s vital that we all do our bit to care for our local environment and through the scheme, local people across Wales have been able to get the support, resources and expert advice they need to carry out their environmental improvement projects. Keep Wales Tidy would like to thank Tesco customers for their support with the single use carrier bag donation, resulting in a successful All Wales Grant Scheme.”

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For more information on the All Wales Grant Scheme, please e-mail grants@keepwalestidy.org or visit the website www.keepwalestidy.org. The grant scheme was the first project to be launched thanks to a partnership between Keep Wales Tidy and Tesco, after 27,000 Tesco customers took part in a vote to choose Keep Wales Tidy as the charity to benefit from Tesco’s carrier bag charge in Wales from 1 st October 2014.