Project bears fruit for all
A healthy living project is breathing new life into communities and giving people a second chance as well.
Ryan Harris is working with volunteers on a mission to plant fruit trees in private yards and public places as part of the Nawton and Crawshaw Healthy Living Projects.
Ryan, 15, became involved because of community volunteer and social worker Manny Sami, who specialises in working with young offenders to get them back on their feet.
"It's a good opportunity for him to work in the community. It gives him a bit of self esteem and he gets to meet other people in the community. It's a chance to get out and about learn a new skill," Mr Sami said.
The project was developed to address the increase in diseases caused by obesity, poor nutrition and physical inactivity and is headed by the Western Community Centre with funding from the Waikato District Health Board.
Community centre manager Neil Tolan hoped the planting of fruit trees would increase food security and promote healthy eating and physical activity in the area.
"We've had volunteers from Wintec and local residents, and even just people who wanted to help out on their own streets. We've had teams come back and say the people were really grateful and excited, so it's exciting for us too.
"I talked to [Ryan] today and I told him that in years to come he'll be able to look at Google maps and see his fruit trees growing, so that's pretty cool," he said.
As well as planting fruit trees at homes, the project will also plant them in parks and will be building a public basketball court at Crawshaw Park.
There are also healthy cooking courses, and courses on growing vegetables and worm and chicken farming on offer throughout this month.
For more information go to westerncommunitycentre.org or the Western Community Centre Facebook page.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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