TCV The Conservation Volunteers - Measham Green Gym
TCV Leicestershire and Rutland co-ordinate and run a wide range of projects within the two counties which offer a variety of opportunities for people to get involved in improving their local green spaces through practical conservation work, food growing and participation in community projects.
TCV has been running a Green Gym at Rolleston Primary School in Leicester since April 2019. Green Gyms are fun and free outdoor sessions where people are guided in practical activities such as planting trees, sowing meadows, growing fruit and veg and establishing wildlife ponds. Unlike other conservation projects, the emphasis is very much on health and fitness – sessions are short, volunteers warm up and cool down in preparation for a range of light to vigorous activities to suit all abilities.
In February 2020 TCV was awarded a SHIRE Community grant of £7,000 towards the cost associated with establishing a Pilot Green Gym in Leicestershire. The pilot was based at the Millenium Green, Measham. Unfortunately in March 2020 the Covid Pandemic struck and the Green Gym sessions had to cease before they even got started.
However, with the activity being based outside and it being easier to socially distance, work re-commenced on site in April 2021. The 26 volunteers attending the weekly sessions are a mixture of self referrals, referrals from the Measham GP and people being supported by Enrych.
The overgrown Millennium Green has been gradually cleared creating a more accessible and open space in which a range of fruit and vegetables are now being grown and cared for. At the same time the volunteers have improved their health and well being, have less anxiety, reduced feelings of isolation, are more physically active and have learned new skills.
The Green Gym has been supported by a range of organisations including Measham Parish Council, The Mercia Fund and the Leicestershire Communities Fund.
The project has successfully made links with the GP Surgery in Measham, Measham Parish Council, the North West Leicestershire Staying Healthy Partnership and a local company, Secura Labels, which regularly sends some of its workforce over to help out.