Gardening enthusiasts needed for charity work in Carlton

Silvia Brunt at Emmaus Village Carlton
Silvia Brunt at Emmaus Village Carlton

A charity based in a North Beds village is appealing for people to support its garden and food project.

Emmaus Village Carlton, which provides a home and meaningful work for 42 people who have experienced homelessness, has been developing the grounds on its extensive site.

During national Volunteers’ Week, which runs this week, the charity is calling for help.

The garden project grows plants and vegetables which are then sold to customers in their charity home store, as well as supplying the community’s bistro and kitchen with fresh ingredients.

Emmaus Village Carlton is asking for assistance to develop the work further, with a plea for new volunteers to join the team, and for gardeners to donate unwanted seedlings.

Sylvia Brunt, a keen gardener, started volunteering for Emmaus a year ago and is now using her passion to help transform the garden area.

She said: “I really enjoy volunteering here. When I got involved with Emmaus a year ago I helped out with sorting donations for the home store – then I heard about plans to transform the beautiful grounds here and decided to get involved. I volunteer every week and have been made to feel very welcome.

“We’ve cleared a large bedding area so far, and we’re using poly-tunnels and greenhouses to nurture seedlings too. Our first harvest includes strawberries, raspberries, kale, French beans and cucumbers.”

Angela Foll, community director at Emmaus Village Carlton, said: “We’re hoping more green-fingered people will come forward to volunteer their time in our garden, whether for a one-off day or as a regular visitor. Equally, if anyone has any spare seedlings that we could nurture to resell, we’d be really grateful. Emmaus Village Carlton supports some of Bedfordshire’s most vulnerable people, and every penny raised will help us continue this vital work.”

Fresh produce from the garden project is on sale at Emmaus Village Carlton’s home store and is being used as part of the menu in the popular on-site bistro too, with plans in place to develop a veg box scheme.

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating plants can get in touch with the charity by calling 01234 720826 or emailing barbarafitzgerald@emmausvc.org

To find out more about Emmaus Village Carlton visit www.emmaus.org.uk/village_carlton