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New Five A Day project coordinator Yvonne Redgrave

PUBLISHED: 15:37 05 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:07 10 April 2018

Project coordinator Yvonne Redgrave

Project coordinator Yvonne Redgrave

Archant

Five A Day project provides a welcome boost for healthy eating and those who lovingly grow the produce and flowers

A popular not-for-profit community market garden has a new project coordinator at its helm. West Berkshire resident of 40 years, Yvonne Redgrave has taken over from Pam Goddard, who founded the Five A Day Market Garden initiative in 2009. Located in the village of Englefield and supported by the Englefield Estate, the volunteer-led project has sustainability and community at its heart. A team of around 25 green fingered volunteers maintains the garden and runs team building events, community education projects, eco craft courses and garden tours.

Five A Day works with local schools and groups to educate people of all ages on growing produce, healthy eating and sustainability and provides a therapeutic environment for isolated or vulnerable West Berkshire residents.

For two days a week the garden sells affordable, seasonal produce and flowers to provide healthy food for the community and subsidise its social enterprise courses.

Having been a volunteer for four years, newly retired Yvonne was keen to use her skills developed throughout a career in business management to work with the team and develop the project to further extend its social outreach. With a recent Masters degree in social responsibility and sustainability, she hopes to welcome more people, including those struggling with social isolation or mental health issues.

“Gardening has significant therapeutic and social benefits,” Yvonne said. “I would like to see more people at the garden and for the garden to contribute to helping people of all ages.

“I very much enjoy gardening, but Pam was a one off because she had such a good knowledge and experience of all aspects of Five a Day. But thankfully we have many volunteers who are highly skilled and I will be able to use their expertise!

“I am looking forward to re-using the skills I have developed throughout my working life into extending the garden’s impact in the community.”

The project has been nominated for several awards over the years and in 2017, Pam, who has now moved away from the area, received an award from the High Sheriff in recognition of her dedicated service to the scheme.

Based on a two-acre plot leased to the group by Englefield Estate, the initiative launched its Thyme Together project in 2017, an informal, weekly gardening sessions for the over 60s to share in the joys of growing.

www.fiveaday.org.uk

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