Garden scheme is juicy prospect

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WOMEN living in a Leeds suburb are the latest to have the chance to transform their front gardens by growing their own fruit and vegetables.

Community group ASHA has secured funding from NHS Leeds to bring the Back to Front project to Beeston.

ASHA, which aims to improve access to services for females living in the area, will use the funds to encourage women to get healthy by gardening and growing their own fruit and vegetables.

It will also give them a chance to find out more about how they can develop healthy eating plans for their families.

As part of the project, women and men in the area will have the chance to enter into a harvest competition to see which garden has yielded the best crops.

ASHA, based on Stratford Street, will also convert its own front garden to motivate women who are less active due to health issues to do the same at home.

Roxana Summers, health improvement specialist for vulnerable groups at NHS Leeds, said: “This project is great as it will lead to a healthier family and a healthier you, not only will you end up eating more fruits and vegetables, but you will be getting added exercise.

“Working in the garden reduces stress and you’ll save money on food. By working on ASHA’s communal gardens many women in the area will have an opportunity to socialise with their neighbours.

“Although ASHA are working with women, we want to encourage men to take part as well.”

Zaheda Khanam, from ASHA, added: “This project will fit in with people’s lifestyles as many people in the local area already use their front gardens to grow spinach, pumpkins, beans, marrows, garlic and coriander. These are staple foods in the diets of many people.

“All we will do is give them a little bit of a helping hand to make sure that they can grow more food and that their gardens look stunning.”

Back to Front was set up by NHS Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University and is now a community voluntary group with a number of partners, such as Leeds City Council and Shine in Harehills.

For more details about the project, visit the website at www.backtofront.org.uk or call ASHA on 0113 270 4600.

suzanne.mctaggart@ypn.co.uk

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