An overgrown orchard is once again bearing fruit after volunteers from a project designed to improve relationships between young and older people worked together for the first time.
The All Ages Project, which aims to improve community cohesion and was set up following last summer’s riots, transformed the orchard belonging to the Able Project on Caldervale Road in Wakefield.
Able, a social enterprise supporting disadvantaged young people, will now sell fruit from the orchard in special boxes as part of a business scheme.
Volunteers from the two groups worked together on the orchard’s makeover, which is one of several initiatives being organised by the All Ages Project in Wakefield.
The transformation of the orchard, which contains trees donated to Able by the Probation Service, took three weeks in total, with tasks including pruning trees and clearing pathways to improve access.
Project officer David Boyes-Watson said: “When we first started, the orchard was completely overgrown and the trees were falling over because they didn’t have stakes in.
“We couldn’t get into it really because the grass was too long and there were nettles and brambles everywhere.
“We cleared all around the trees and cleared pathways in the grass, so people can walk through the orchard now and hopefully it will be easier for them to collect apples.”
David works for The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), which received funds from the Social Investment Business to set up the All Ages Project.
With support from Catch 22 and Community Space Challenge, the project – which aims to improve relationships between different generations – is working on 13 different community-based challenges.
They are all conservation-themed and based in Wakefield, Barnsley and Kirklees, including a project with the youth group at St George’s Community Centre in Lupset.
The All Ages Project meets every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and carries out a wide variety of tasks.
David said: “Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people and as a leader, I would be providing advice and tools for a range of conservation work, from tree felling to woodland management.
“It could also help people develop skills for employment.”
* For more information about joining the All Ages Project, call David Boyes-Watson on (01924) 299815 or email: email@example.com