LOCAL dignitaries, including the Mayor of North-East Lincolnshire were on hand to officially open YMCA Humber’s community orchard project, #OrchGard, at a celebration event held at the charity’s Peaks Lane Housing Project in Grimsby on Saturday 18 March.
The Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor Christina McGilligan-Fell cut the ribbon on the project, watched by Melanie Onn (MP for Great Grimsby) and Martin Vickers (MP for Cleethorpes).
After the ribbon cutting, the trio, along with other invited guests including YMCA Humber CEO Malcolm Smith, Jenny Follan, Community Champion at Tesco Cleethorpes, as well as volunteers from the #OrchGard project and young people of the Peaks Lane project planted trees in the orchard.
Mayor cuts the ribbon
Madam Mayor said: “It was a pleasure to cut the ribbon on YMCA’s community orchard.
“I was in my element with such self-minded people and nature.
“I was delighted to hear that the idea was inspired by the Longitude Wood, which I have been involved with through my association with the John Harrison Foundation.
There were also a range of activities that took place on the day, including tile making, fruit tasting, wood crafting and cobbing.
The tile making contest was won by Lily from Grimsby for her hearts and leaves inspired ‘love’ handprint.
Madam Mayor added: “I had the pleasure to watch Lily at work creating her tile, she was a worthy winner.
“The orchard celebration was a great event for the community – well done to everyone involved.”
One of the key volunteers on the project is Anthony, a member of YMCA’s Peaks Lane project and he spoke about how the community orchard has had a positive effect on his life.
He said: “The orchard is a community project that started a number of months ago.
“There was a large plot of land at the back of the project that we didn’t know what to do with.
“We had a residents’ meeting about it and it was decided to turn it into an orchard.
“We have had support from an organisation called Fruit-full Communities to provide funding for the project and everything we are growing in the orchard will be edible.”
Donations to help the orchard come to fruition have also been received from Enterprise Car & Van Hire, Tesco Bags for Help and Pennells.
For more information on the project, please visit our website www.ymca-humber.com.
A gallery of pictures from the day are available on our Flickr site, www.flickr.com/ymcahumber.