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Sow and grow helped by the Housing Executive

Published: Mon, 12 Jun 2017
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NIHE's Michael Dallat & Helen Hicks launch the new allotment with Brian O’Neill, Chairperson of the South Tyrone Men’s Shed.
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The South Tyrone Men’s Shed are planting a legacy in Dungannon with the creation of an allotment servicing the local community.
The Housing have provided over £1,700 worth of funding to purchase a heated poly tunnel, cold frame and raised beds to allow the garden to be used as an organic vegetable plot. The poly tunnel is equipped with a sprinkler system to help grow vegetables, herbs and shrubs.
The Men’s Shed is a project for men to share skills, socialise and connect with the wider community.
The South Tyrone Men’s Shed is a place for members to be themselves, a place to work at their own pace, a place to exchange ideas and learn, a place to support each other and build friendships.
Our Mid Ulster Area Manager Michael Dallat said:
“Our local staff worked closely with the South Tyrone Men’s Shed and this has culminated in the development  of the sow and grow allotment. It has been  very exciting to see the wide variety of produce grown thanks to the raised plant beds and the Polytunnel.
“The Men’s Shed in Mid Ulster is an important outlet for men to come and engage with each other. The allotment is a collective idea from the ‘Shedders’ to reflect positively on the various skills learnt through the Men’s Shed programme.
“The installation of the Polytunnel and a full sprinkling system will allow the shedders to grow tomatoes, lettuce, Brussel sprouts, herbs, pumpkins, flowers and shrubs.
"The wide variety of plants and vegetables being produced will mean the initiative is self-sufficient and can be used across the local community.
“We as an organisation are intent on fostering vibrant communities and improving the livelihoods of our tenants. The Sow and Grown scheme will not only benefit the South Tyrone Men Shedders, but also the greater Dungannon area.”
Brian O’Neill & Isaac Kay South Tyrone Men’s Shed with Michael Dallat, Helen Hicks & Marilyn Giboney, NIHE.
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Brian O’Neill, Chairperson of the South Tyrone Men’s Shed added:
“We would like to thank the Housing Executive for their investment to allow the purchase of a Polytunnel and raised beds for the communal allotment. We hope this will be of great benefit to the whole community of Dungannon.
“The ‘Sow and Grow’ initiative aims at being a focal point for shedders to learn horticultural skills, take ownership of the produce created and to be a location for discussion and forging friendships. Members of the public are able to come and purchase some of the hanging baskets available.
“The Men’s Shed initiative develops ownership and social responsibility for men in the greater mid Ulster area. It helps to bring the community closer and welcomes newcomers who wish to engage with men in the area.”