A project to provide free food for those in need has inspired fresh produce to be grown on the Buszy site in Milton Keynes.
Ringway Milton Keynes is supporting the ‘Free Hot Meal’ project, which is run by the Buszy in conjunction with the Milton Keynes Food Bank charity.
On the first Thursday of each month, food is cooked for those who need it and to help support them with this worthwhile project going forward, Ringway Milton Keynes, together with sub-contractor AJW Ltd, are installing raised garden beds so that fresh produce for the meals can be grown on site, as well as providing gardening activities for those at the venue.
Twelve Ringway staff members have volunteered to help with the carpentry, gardening and painting required. As part of the company’s corporate responsibility approach, all employees can take two paid volunteer days a year.
The work being carried out by Ringway staff includes creating two large raised beds using railway sleepers (one for vegetables and one for herbs) which will be designed to allow access for wheelchair users and installed to fit within the old bus bays. Additional wooden planters are being installed around the pillars with the intention of planting runner beans.
Specialist paints are being used to refurbish the old bus-bay bollards with the original bay number plaques being kept and smartened up.
Weed spraying has already taken place in advance (using a quad bike fitted with special spraying equipment) to clear the whole area and ensure it looks tidy for some time to come.
John Upcott, Ringway Milton Keynes divisional director, said: “One of the reasons we decided to support this project is to provide the Buszy with an economic and sustainable way to provide ingredients for their joint ‘Free Hot Meal’ project by being able to grow their own.
“The Buszy is a resource in the town for many disabled and disadvantaged young people and we hope they will enjoy learning how to garden and grow the plants in the raised beds.”
Anna Peters, social enterprise manager at Make a Difference, said: “These raised beds will not only help to make the ‘Free Hot Meal’ project more sustainable, but provide an opportunity for the people coming along to get involved. We’ll be encouraging people attending the meals to help us maintain the veg planters and help to look after the fruit and veg which will ultimately be going into their meals.
“We hope to be able to expand the project further and start some education programmes with some of our young people about how to grow their own food.”
The work took place today and on Thursday, July 3 Ringway staff will hand over a range supplies to the project whilst they wait for the plants to grow.