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Eyres Monsell gets set for growing success

Published on 17 October 2016

FREE recipe cards and bags of fresh vegetables will be on offer to people in Eyres Monsell later this week, as part of an event to show people how easy it is to ‘grow it, cook it and eat it’.

The awareness-raising event, on Wednesday (19 Oct), has been organised by community volunteers with support from Leicester City Council.

It takes place at Eyres Monsell children’s centre, Hillsborough Road, from 1-2.30pm.

Volunteers from the parent and carers’ forum at the children’s centre will be giving away taster portions of healthy soups, as well as encouraging people to sign up to a local fruit and vegetable growing project.

Visitors to the event will also be able to pick up a free soup recipe card and a bag of vegetables to get them started.

Raised beds have been installed at the children’s centre and are ready for planting, so that local people can benefit from the fruits of their labour next year.

Equipment, expertise and advice has been provided by a nearby group at Eyres Monsell Community Centre, where a community growing project takes place.

The projects are both part of Bloomin Eyres Monsell – a local initiative which aims to provide local people with the skills and equipment they need to grow and cook their own produce.

Funding comes from the council’s Get Growing grants, which are awarded to community fruit and vegetable growing projects across the city.

Councillor Virginia Cleaver, ward councillor for the area, said: “We want to help people discover how satisfying it is to grow your own veg, and how easy it can be to prepare simple meals using what you’ve grown.

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to support this and I want to thank all the volunteers who have worked so hard to help organise this event.”

Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who chairs Leicester’s health and wellbeing board, is also a ward councillor for Eyres Monsell. He said: “There are numerous health benefits to projects like these. Cooking from scratch at home can help to combat child obesity as it’s usually much healthier than a ready meal or takeaway.

“Gardening has also been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, as have the sort of social activities that joining a community group or club can bring.

“I’m really pleased that this group is setting up in Eyres Monsell, where an existing community gardening group has already been so successful. I’m sure that by this time next year, even more local people will have sampled food they have grown and cooked themselves.”

Children attending the event on Wednesday will also be able to get involved in an activity making ‘bread in a bag’.  The activity is a taster for ‘Big Cook, Little Cook’ sessions which will start at the children’s centre in November, and aim to help children get involved in cooking healthy recipes in the kitchen with the whole family.

For more information, visit the free event at the children’s centre on Wednesday, or call the centre on 0116 225 2200.

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