Couple seek someone to take over community allotment

Volunteers working at the allotment
Sue Brandon and her husband Mark set up the F3 Project after noticing the amount of local people struggling to afford food [F3 Project]

A couple who set up a community allotment to grow produce for those hit by the cost-of-living crisis are looking for someone to take it over.

Sue Brandon, 79, and her husband Mark started the F3 Project at Chafyn Grove School, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, after noticing large queues of people struggling to feed their families at the local pantry.

Now, Mr Brandon, 80, said they were looking to "pass on the baton" as their health begins to deteriorate.

"We've got to the age where things start to go wrong and we've also got elderly members of the family that need looking after," he said.

'Future proof'

"The future of the project would be affected if anything were to happen to us, so we really want to futureproof it by starting now and getting somebody trained up to take over from us," he added.

The project was set up after the couple, who have taken on various community projects since retirement, noticed the amount of people struggling to put food on the table.

Ms Brandon said they then "searched for a piece of ground" and were lucky when the local school said they could use a plot on their site.

Ms Brandon said the F3 Project now grows around 39 different vegetables, as well as soft and main fruits.

The produce is then harvested and delivered to local charities including Salisbury Pantry, a scheme set up in 2020 to provide affordable and nutritious food to the community.

The plot of land
The F3 Project supplies fruit and vegetables to local charities like Salisbury Pantry [F3 Project]

Whoever takes over the reins will be responsible for overseeing the running of the garden, planting, harvesting and delivering produce to the pantry.

Mr Brandon said they do not need to be a "miracle worker" but "somebody who is really interested in doing something for the community and also for being really keen to growing things".

"It's fully equipped. There's been no expense spared in setting it up," he said.

Ms Brandon said: "I think you've just got it in your head, when you wake up in the morning, you don't have to be there working all day but you do have to be aware every day of what is happening up there."

Mr Brandon added: "It's a fun project and we've got a lovely team to work with."

A volunteer working at the site
The couple said there was already a "lovely team" of volunteers working on the project [F3 Project]

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