Ideal for All


Vote for our Growing Opportunities team to win the Octavia Hill Award

Our Growing Opportunities team has been nominated for the prestigious Octavia Hill Awards. The Growing Hero category recognises individuals and groups who have set up a community growing scheme, or saved allotments and made a real difference.

The work and gardens have received some funding from Sandwell Council and Sandwell Primary Care Trust as well as many other funders who have supported the green programmes in the borough.

Without the Growing Opportunities team Sandwell’s urban agriculture initiative would not exist. The team’s simple aim is to improve health through horticulture and food skills, and with a diverse programme targeting different groups we are reaching thousands of people in Sandwell.

Child poverty, low fruit and vegetable consumption and lack of exercise are real issues here, and Sandwell has long dreamt of creating a greener, more productive and healthier environment. Salop Drive Market Garden now supplies fresh produce to local people, and Malthouse Garden – once a 20-storey tower block – focuses on therapeutic and amenity growing with healthy walks and cooking classes.

We have a team of talented workers who have raised millions of pounds to regenerate derelict land as urban farms and community gardens. A third allotment site is planned – bringing the total growing area to 10 acres, and transforming many people’s lives.

Carol Goff, Chair of Ideal for All said: “We are delighted about being shortlisted for this prestigious awards scheme. Our team work very hard and take a lot of pride in their work supporting people of all ages and abilities. Our aim is to promote healthy living and wellbeing and our passionate team has created a diverse programme to reach out to different groups in Sandwell.”

Please vote and put the Sandwell gardens on the map, it only takes a few seconds, please click on this link to vote -

About the awards

The Octavia Hill Awards are organised by the National Trust, in partnership with BBC Countryfile Magazine, the awards mark the centenary of the death of Octavia Hill, the social reformer and environmental campaigner who helped found the National Trust. Octavia died 100 years ago this year, in August 1912. She had a special influence in the North West of England as, together with Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley – the other co-founding members of the National Trust -  Octavia raised enough public funds to buy the Brandlehow estate on the shores of Derwentwater in Cumbria to prevent housing development. Brandlehow was opened to the public in 1902 by Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter, and was the National Trust’s first acquisition in the Lake District.

 The Octavia Hill Awards will be decided by a panel of expert judges – including Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile magazine, academic and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts, and writer and countryside campaigner Candida Lycett Green who will shortlist three nominations in each of the six categories in the Octavia Hill Awards.


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