Last week Aston staff took on another volunteer challenge in the local community, spending time at the Mini-Eden Project in Kitts Green. The Energy Saving Trust and local council have contributed funding to turn a disused scout hut and the surrounding grounds into an environmental awareness centre with organic allotments maintained by local schools.
Aston staff worked hard to prepare the land, plant a herb garden and fruit trees, create slabbed paths and plant hedging. Volunteers even installed solar panels which were able to power a radio by the end of the day and will contribute to other renewable energy sources that will make the Mini-Eden project self-sufficient.
A local catering college that will be highly involved with the sustainability project provided lunch on both days through their ‘from the wellie to the belly’ scheme using fresh and seasonal produce which will eventually only use crops from the Mini-Eden organic allotments.
Aston volunteers achieved a lot over the two day period and Mick Williams who coordinates the Mini-Eden project was very impressed with the results and would be more than happy to work with Aston staff in the future. Claire Hopkins (Marketing) commented "I found working on the project really rewarding - it was amazing to see the difference we made to the site with a few hours of hard work! It was also a good opportunity to meet colleagues from other areas of the University and get to know people in an informal setting."
The two day challenge was hosted by Community Service Volunteers (CSV) Environment who provided all the tools, training and equipment and ensured high Health and Safety standards.
The Students' Guild kindly donated their minibus for both days.
If you would like to get involved with on the next Environment Challenge then why not join us on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 July when we will working on the grounds of St. Peters Housing Association, an assisted living facility for the elderly in Saltley Birmingham. We will be creating an allotment garden with raised beds and put up fencing to make a private relaxation space for residents. Please contact Chantal De-Silva Staff Volunteering Coordinator for more details firstname.lastname@example.org or 4604.
Words by Chantal De-Silva